Skip Navigation

Benjamin Holt

Photo of Benjamin Holt


4800 Oak Grove Drive
M/S 300-323

Pasadena, CA 91109





Curriculum Vitae:

Click here

Member of:

Ocean Circulation And Air Sea Interaction


Employed By



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

Professional Experience

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

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.

Selected Publications

  1. De Laurentiis, L. C. E. Jones, B. Holt, G. Schiavon, and F. Del Frate (2020), Deep learning for mineral and biogenic oil slick classification with airborne synthetic aperture radar data, IEEE Trans. Geosci. Remote Sens, 10.1109/TGRS.2020.3034722, on.
  2. Ayad, M., J. Li, B. Holt, C. Lee (2020). Analysis and classification of stormwater and sewage runoff from the Tijuana River using remote sensing imagery, Frontiers in Marine Science, 8, doi: 10.3389/fenvs.2020.599030.
  3. M. Johansson, M. Espeseth, C. Brekke and B. Holt (2020), Can mineral oil slicks be distinguished from newly formed sea ice using synthetic aperture radar?, IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing, 13, doi: 10.1109/JSTARS.2020.3017278.
  4. Espeseth, M., C.E. Jones, B. Holt, C. Brekke, S. Skrunes (2020), Quantitative measurements of oil slick evolution using a time series of SAR images, J. Selected Topics in Applied Earth Obs. Remote Sens., 13, 10.1109/JSTARS.2020.3003686.
  5. Espeseth, M., C. Brekke, C.E. Jones, B. Holt, A. Freeman, 2020. The impact of system noise in polarimetric SAR imagery on oil spill observations, IEEE Trans. Geosci. Remote Sens., 2020, 10.1109/TGRS.2019.2961684.
  6. 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, 2020. Classification of oil spill thicknesses using satellite remote sensing for oil spill response, Remote Sensing of the Environment, 236,
  7. 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, 230,
  8. Fichot, C. G., K. Matsumoto, B. Holt, M. M. Gierach, and K. S. Tokos, 2019. Assessing change in the overturning behavior of the Laurentian Great Lakes using remotely sensed lake surface water temperatures, Remote Sensing of the Environment, 235, 10.1016/j.rse.2019.111427.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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,
  12. Holt, B. 2018. On-Ice Arctic Sea Ice Thickness Measurements by Auger, Core, and Electromagnetic Induction, From the Fram Expedition Onward, Version 1. Boulder, Colorado USA. NSIDC: National Snow and Ice Data Center. doi:
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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,
  19. 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.
  20. 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,
  21. 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,
  22. 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.
  23. Lee, C.M., J. Thomson, and the Marginal Ice Zone and Arctic Sea State Teams. 2017. An autonomous approach to observing the seasonal ice zone in the western Arctic. Oceanography 30(2):56-68,
  24. 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.
  25. Thomson, J., with others including B. Holt, 2016. Emerging trends in the sea state of the Beaufort and Chukchi seas, 105, 1-12, Ocean Modeling,
  26. Skrunes S., C. Brekke, C. Jones, and B. Holt, A Multisensor Comparison of Experimental Oil Spills in Polarimetric SAR for High Wind Conditions, J. Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing, doi: 10.1109/JSTARS.2016.2565063, 9(11) 4948-4961.
  27. Brekke C., 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.
  28. 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.
  29. 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, 2016.
  30. 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.
  31. 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.
  32. 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.
  33. 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.
  34. 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.
  35. 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.
  36. Minchew, B., C. Jones, and B. Holt, Polarimetric L-band SAR signatures of oil from the Deepwater Horizon spill, IEEE Trans. Geoscience Remote Sensing, doi:10.1109/TGRS.2012.2185804, 50(10), 3812-3820, 2012.
  37. 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.
  38. 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.