Earth Science Informatics

, Volume 11, Issue 3, pp 341–357 | Cite as

Capability of L-band SAR data in mapping of sedimentary formations of the Marmul region, Sultanate of Oman

  • Sankaran RajendranEmail author
  • Sobhi Nasir
Research Article


This study demonstrates the capability of the longer wavelength (L-band) and fine mode images of the Phased Array type L-band Synthetic Aperture Radar (PALSAR), and the optical spectral bands of the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) to map sedimentary formations and structures of the Marmul region, Central Oman. Results of study shows that the principal components image of the visible and near infrared–shortwave infrared (VNIR-SWIR) spectral bands of the ASTER have potential to discriminate the occurrence and distribution of marine and Quaternary sedimentary formations of the region. The color composite image developed using PALSAR data (R:HH + HV; G:HH; B:HV) has capable to differentiate the occurrence of the sedimentary formations and structures of the region. We developed ratios images by summing the HH intensity as a numerator and the HV intensity as a denominator (R:HH+(HH + HV)/HV, G:HH + HV, B:HH/HV), and by summing the HV intensity as a numerator and the HH intensity as a denominator (R:HV+(HH + HV)/HH, G:HV + HH, B:HV/HH) to study better the sedimentary formations and structures. The images discriminated well the occurrence of the limestones and shale formations of the marine deposits, the wadi alluvium of the Quaternary deposits and the manmade building structures of the region. We studied the minerals of the sedimentary formations using VNIR-SWIR spectral bands of the ASTER by spectral angle mapper (SAM) image processing method. The study showed presence of carbonates, silicates and OH bearing aluminosilicate minerals in the formations. The image interpretations are verified in the field and confirmed by the laboratory studies.


PALSAR Aster Spectral angle mapper Sedimentary formations Sultanate of Oman 



The author is thankful to the ERSDAC, Japan Space Systems for providing the PALSAR data (Order No.: SDPR201404230016). The author is also thankful to the NASA Land Processes Distributed Active Archive Center User Services, USGS Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center ( for providing the ASTER data. The guidance extended by PALSAR GDS User Service for processing data is thankfully acknowledged. This study is partially funded by the SQU Internal grant IG/SCI/ETHS/14/02 and HM grant no SR/DVC/ESRC/15/01. The author is thankful to Mr. Yaqoob, Research Assistant of the project for his support during the field and laboratory studies. The XRD analyses are provided by CAARU, SQU and Mr. Saif Amer Al-Maamari is thanked for his discussion. The transport facility extended by SQU to carry out field check and collect samples in the desert region is thankfully acknowledged. The authors are very much thankful to the Editor and the anonymous reviewers of the journal for their valuable reviews and providing constructive comments and suggestions that have helped to present the work lucidly.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Earth Science Research CentreSultan Qaboos UniversityMuscatOman

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