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Earth observation optical images may contain blemishes or artificial structures that come from processing or directly from the sensors. These artifacts decrease the quality of the images and can lead to analysis and interpretation problems. We are interested in detecting these defects automatically. We develop an approach based on an information-theoretic analysis of the image formation process, which is inspired by methods already used in domains dealing with similar problematics like image quality or information hiding. In this letter, we propose a method based on a rate distortion analysis, exploiting the local regularity properties of the image.