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 Ocean Circulation And Air Sea Interaction (329B): People
Benjamin  Holt's Picture
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
M/S 300-323
4800 Oak Grove Drive
Pasadena, CA 91109
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Curriculum Vitae:

Benjamin Holt

  • B.A., Human Biology and Anthropology, Stanford University (1972)
  • M.S., Physical Oceanography, Dept. of Geology, University of Southern California (1988)

Research Interests
  • The geophysical state of polar sea ice and snow using multi-sensor remote sensing data and new instrument development and techniques for microwave measurement of sea ice thickness.
  • Coastal oceanography circulation and the detection of marine pollutants using multi-sensor remote sensing data.


NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar, or NISAR, is a satellite radar mission run jointly by NASA and the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) that will survey Earth’s changing ecosystems, dynamic surface, and ice masses.

Professional Experience
  • Jet Propulsion Laboratory (1978-Present)
    • Oceanography Element (1982-Present)
    • Member Technical Staff (1978-Present)

Selected Publications
  1. Rodriguez-Alvarez, N., B. Holt, S. Jaruwatanadilok, E. Podest, and K. Cavanaugh, 2019. An Arctic Sea Ice Multi-Step Classification Based on GNSS-R Data from the TDS-1 Mission, Remote Sensing of the Environment, in revision.
  2. Garcia-Pineda, O., G. Staples, C.E. Jones, C. Hu, B. Holt, V. Kourafalou, G. Graettinger, L. DiPinto, E. Ramirez, D. Street, J. Cho, G. Swayze, S. Sun, 2019. Classification of oil spill thicknesses using satellite remote sensing for oil spill response, Remote Sensing of the Environment, in revision.
  3. Espeseth, M., C.E. Jones, B. Holt, C. Brekke, S. Skrunes, 2019. Quantitative measurements of oil slick evolution using a time series of SAR images, J. Selected Topics in Applied Earth Obs. Remote Sens., in revision.
  4. Thomson, J., plus others including B. Holt, 2018. Overview of the Arctic sea state and boundary layer physics program, J. Geophysical Res., doi:10.1002/2018JC013766.
  5. Tang, W., S. Yueh, D. Yang, A. Fore, A. Hayashi, T. Lee, S. Fournier and B. Holt, 2018. The potential and challenges of using SMAP SSS to monitor Arctic Ocean freshwater changes, Remote Sensing, 10, 869, doi:10.3390/rs10060869.
  6. Ayoub, F., C.E. Jones, M.P. Lamb, B. Holt, J.B. Shaw, D. Mohrig, and W. Wagner, 2018. Inferring surface currents within submerged, vegetated deltaic islands from multi-pass airborne SAR, Remote Sensing Environment, 212, 148-160,
  7. Skrunes, S., C. Brekke , C. E. Jones, M. M. Espeseth, and B. Holt, 2018. Effect of wind direction and incidence angle on polarimetric SAR observations of slicked and unslicked sea surfaces. Remote Sensing of the Environment, 213, 73-91.
  8. Wadhams, P., G. Aulicino, F. Parmiggiani, P. O. G. Persson, and B. Holt, 2018. Pancake ice thickness mapping in the Beaufort Sea from wave dispersion observed in SAR imagery, J. Geophysical Research: Oceans, DOI 10.1002/2017JC013003.
  9. Angelliaume, S., P. Dubois-Fernandez, C.E. Jones, B. Holt, B. Minchew, E. Amri and V. Miegebielle, 2018. SAR imagery for detecting sea surface slicks: Performance assessment of polarization-dependent parameters. IEEE Trans. Geosci. Remote Sens., 56(8), 4237-4257, doi:10.1109/TGRS.2018.2803216.
  10. Jones, C. E., and B. Holt, 2018. Experimental L-band airborne SAR for oil spill response at sea and in coastal waters. Sensors, 18 (641), doi:10.3390/s18020641.
  11. Trinh, R. C., C. G. Fichot, M. M. Gierach, B. Holt, N. K. Malakar, G. Hulley, J. Smith, 2017. Application of Landsat 8 for monitoring impacts of wastewater discharge on coastal water quality, Frontiers in Marine Science, 4:329.doi: 10.3389/fmars.2017.00329.
  12. Espeseth, M., S. Skrunes, C. E. Jones, C.Brekke, B. Holt, and A. P. Doulgeris, Time series analysis of oil spills in the full-polarimetric and hybrid-polarity SAR domain, IEEE Trans. Geosci. Remote Sens., 55 (7), 4190-4210, doi/10.1109/TGRS.2017.2690001.
  13. Holt, B., R. Trinh, and M. Gierach, Satellite analysis of stormwater runoff plumes in Southern California detected with SAR and MODIS imagery, Marine Pollution Bulletin,118, 141-154,, 2017
  14. Ohlmann, J. C., M. J. Molemaker, B. Baschek, B. Holt, G. Marmorino, and G. Smith, Drifter observations of submesoscale flow kinematics in the coastal ocean, Geophys. Res. Lett., 44, 330-337, doi:10.1002/2016GL071537, 2017.
  15. Alpers, W., B. Holt, and K. Zeng, Discriminating oil spills from biogenic slicks by imaging radars: challenges and pitfalls: Challenges and pitfalls, Remote Sensing of the Environment, 201, 133-147,
  16. Gierach, M., B. Holt, R. Trinh, B. Pan, C. Rains, Satellite detection of wastewater diversion plumes in Southern California, Estuarine, Coastal, and Shelf Science, 186, 171-182,, 2017.
  17. Jones, C. E., K.-F. Dagestad, O. Breivik, B. Holt, J. Rohrs, K. H. Christensen, M. Espeseth, C. Brekke, and S. Skrunes, Measurement and modeling of oil slick transport, J. Geophys. Res. Oceans, 121, 7759-7775, doi:10.1002/2016JC012113, 2016.
  18. S. Skrunes, C. Brekke, C. Jones, and B. Holt, A Multisensor Comparison of Experimental Oil Spills in Polarimetric SAR for High Wind Conditions, Journal of Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing, doi: 10.1109/JSTARS.2016.2565063, 2016.
  19. C. Brekke, C. Jones, S. Skrunes, B. Holt, and M. Espeseth, Cross-Correlation Between Polarization Channels in SAR Imagery Over Oceanographic Features, IEEE Geosci. Remote Sens. Lett., 13(7), 997-1001, doi: 10.1109/LGRS.2016.2558543, 2016.
  20. Shaw, J. B., F. Ayoub, C. E. Jones, M. P. Lamb, B. Holt, W. Wagner, T. Coffey, J. A. Chadwick, and D. Mohrig, Airborne Radar Imaging of Subaqueous Channel Evolution in Wax Lake Delta, Louisiana, Geophys. Res. Lett., 43, 5035–5042, doi:10.1002/2016GL068770, 2016.
  21. Wang, Y., B. Holt, W. E. Rogers, J. Thomson, and H. H. Shen (2016) Wind and wave influences on sea ice floe size and leads in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas during the summer-fall transition 2014, J. Geophysical Res. Oceans, 121, doi:10.1002/2015JC011349.
  22. Holt, B., M. P. Johnson, D. Perkovic-Martin, B. Panzer, Snow depth on Arctic sea ice derived from radar: In situ comparisons and time series analysis, J. Geophysical Res. Oceans, 120, 4260-4287, doi:10.1002/2015JC010815, 2015.
  23. Collins, M. J., M. Denbina, B. Minchew, B. Holt, and C. Jones, On the use of compact polarimetry L-band SAR for characterizing the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing, 8(3), 1062-1077, DOI: 10.1109/JSTARS.2015.2401041, 2015.
  24. Brekke, C., B. Holt, C. Jones, and S. Skrunes, Discrimination of oil spills from newly formed sea ice by synthetic aperture radar,Remote Sensing of the Environment, 145, 1-14, 2014.
  25. Panzer, B., D. Gomez-Garcia, C. Leuschen, J. Paden, F. Rodriquez-Morales, A. Patel, T. Markus, B. Holt, and P. Gogineni, An ultra-wideband, microwave radar for measuring snow thickness on sea ice and mapping near-surface internal layers in polar firn, J.Glaciology, 59(214), doi:10.3189/2013JoG12J128, 2013.
  26. McKinney, P., B. Holt, and K. Matsumoto, Small eddies observed in Lake Superior using SAR and sea surface temperature imagery, Journal of Great Lakes Research 38, 786-797, 2012.
  27. Zheng, Q., B. Holt, X. Li, X. Liu, Q. Zhao, Y. Yuan, and X. Yang, Deep-water seamount wakes on Seasat SAR imagery in the Gulf Stream Region, Geophysical Research Letters, 39, doi:10.1029/2012GL052661 2012.
  28. Mortin, J., T. M. Schroder, A. W. Hansen, B. Holt, and K. C. McDonald, Mapping of seasonal freeze-thaw transitions across the pan-Arctic land and sea ice domains with satellite radar, J. Geophysical Res. Oceans, 117, C08004, doi:10.1029/2012JC008001, 2012.
  29. Leifer, I., B. Lehr, D. Simecek-Beatty, E. Bradley, R. Clark, P. Dennison, Y. Hu, S. Matheson, C. Jones, B. Holt, M. Reif, D. Roberts, J. Svejkovsky, G. Swayze, J. Wozencraft, State of the art satellite and airborne marine oil spill remote sensing: Application to the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill, Remote Sensing of the Environment, 124, 185-209, 2012.
  30. Minchew, B., C. Jones, and B. Holt, Polarimetric L-band SAR signatures of oil from the Deepwater Horizon spill, IEEE Trans. Geoscience Remote Sensing, 10.1109/TGRS.2012.2185804, 99, 1-19, 2012.
  31. Jones, C. E., B, Minchew, B. Holt, and S. Hensley, Studies of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill with the UAVSAR radar, in Liu, Y., A. MacFadyen, Z.-G. Ji, and R. H. Weisberg (Eds.), Monitoring and Modeling the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, Geophys. Monogr. Ser., vol. 195, pp. 33-50, AGU, Washington, D. C., 2011.
  32. Kwok, R., B. Panzer, C. Leuschen, S. Pang, T. Markus, B. Holt, and S. Gogineni, Airborne surveys of snow depth over Arctic sea ice, J. Geophysical Research Oceans, 116, C11018, doi:10.1029/2011JC007371, 2011.
  33. Freeman, A., V. Zlotnicki, T. Liu, B. Holt, R. Kwok, S. Yueh, J. Vazquez, D.Siegel, and G. Lagerloef, Ocean Measurements from Space in 2025, Oceanography, 23(4), 144-161, 2010.
  34. Marmorino, G. O., B. Holt, M. J. Molemaker, P. M. DiGiacomo, M. A. Sletten, Airborne synthetic aperture radar observations of 'spiral eddy' slick patterns in the Southern California Bight, J. Geophysical Research Oceans, 115, C05010, doi:10.1029/2009JC005863, 2010.
  35. Holt, B., P. Kanagaratnam, P. Gogineni, V. Ramasami, A. Mahoney, V. Lytle, Sea ice thickness measurements by a wideband surface penetrating radar: First results, Cold Regions Science and Technology, 55, 33-46, 2009.
  36. Martin, S., R. Drucker, R. Kwok, and B. Holt, Improvements in the estimates of ice thickness and production in the Chukchi Sea polynyas derived from AMSR-E, Geophysical Research Letters, 32, L05505, doi:10.1029/2004GL022013, 2005.
  37. Evans, D., W. Alpers, A. Cazenave C. Elachi, T. Farr, D. Glackin, B. Holt, L. Jones, W. T. Liu, W. McCandless, Y. Menard, R. Moore, E. Njoku, Seasat-A 25 Year Legacy of Success, Remote Sensing of the Environment, 94, 384-404, 2005.
  38. Holt, B., SAR imaging of the ocean surface, in C. R. Jackson and J. R. Apel (eds) Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) Marine User's Manual, NOAA NESDIS Office of Research and Applications, Washington DC, pp. 25-79, 2004.
  39. Vachon, P. W., F. M. Monaldo, B. Holt, and S. Lehner, Ocean surface waves and spectra, in C. R. Jackson and J. R. Apel (eds) Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) Marine User's Manual, NOAA NESDIS Office of Research and Applications, Washington DC, pp. 139-169, 2004.
  40. Martin, S., R. Drucker, R. Kwok, and B. Holt, Estimation of the thin ice thickness and heat flux from SSM/I data for the Chukchi Sea Alaskan coast polynya for 1990 - 2001, J. Geophysical Res., 109, C10012, doi:10.1029/2004JC002428, 2004.
  41. DiGiacomo, P. M., L. Washburn, B. Holt, and B. H. Jones, Coastal pollution hazards in Southern California observed by SAR imagery: Stormwater plumes, wastewater plumes, and natural hydrocarbon seeps, Marine Pollution Bulletin, 49, 1013-1024, 2004.
  42. DiGiacomo, P. M., and B. Holt, Satellite observations of small coastal ocean eddies in the Southern California Bight, J. Geophys. Res., 106(C10), 22,521-22,544, 2001.
  43. Holt, B., and S. Martin, The effect of a storm on the 1992 summer sea ice cover of the Beaufort, Chukchi, and East Siberian Seas, J. Geophys. Res., 106 (C1), 1017-1032, 2001.

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