Detection of Oil Spillage in the Sea Name: Instructor: Course: Date: Detection of Oil Spillage in the Sea Abstract Technological advances have made the process of monitoring ocean spill possible. The tool used currently, Space-borne synthetic aperture radar is the tool currently used and has several advantages…
The images were taken during the Prestige oil spill that happened in Spanish coast. Geographical Information System (GIS) database was used in the integration of the images to study the spatial distribution, slick progression and the results compared to field observations. From the results acquired, a relationship is developed between the use of radar imagery and other available options like wind data and in situ interpretations. Integration of these techniques produces efficient ways of monitoring and forecast oil spills in the oceans. Key words Advanced Synthetic Aperture Radar (ASAR), oil spillage, Geographical Information System (GIS), and oil slick. Introduction Oil spillage in the sea or oceans serves as a main source of water pollution and environmental degradation. Most leakages result from ships ferrying oil to various destinations across the world. Storms in the sea cause ship wreckages that lead to oil spillage. Monitoring of such incidences before extensive damage is made is essential. The case study for this project is an oil tanker, Prestige that was damaged in a storm in the coast of Spain. Though it had a capacity of 77000 tons of heavy fuel, after the damage, there was an immediate loss of 5000 tons. Over 190kms of the coast was contaminated with the oil within a period of three days. After a few days, the ship broke and sunk in the Atlantic Ocean. During the incident,3000tons were lost as spillage as other 6000tons as it sunk. Oil spread 270km along the south/south west of the cape of Finisterra. Satellite images have been provided by the European Space Agency daily since the accident occurred. The Envisat space craft and European Remote Sensing (ERS) revealed the leakage, raising an alarm in salvaging process of the sea (Palanzuela, Gonzalez, & Cuadrado 2006). The data retrieved from radar was of great use in oil spillage detection because it covers a wide area. Radar also assists in taking images at all times. This makes it useful in detecting and clean up operations of oil spills. The mode of technology used in the project was Advanced Synthetic Aperture Radar (ASAR). The images retrieved from the radar were very critical in detecting oil spills from the Prestige tanker. The images were integrated by the Geographical Information System (GIS) database that revealed further information about the spillage. The area covered by oil spill, its quantity and spatial distribution in the area within the oil spillage period was traced. Observations made in the field and the condition of wind during the incident could be retrieved. Oil Slick Detection The area affected lies in the north-west coast of Spain on Atlantic Ocean. The coast line covers the Cape of Finisterre to the mouth of Mino River. The marine biodiversity in the area is rich, with a blend of vertical water and column layers. The rich cold water provides nutrients that support pelagic and demersal fisheries. A rich mussel raft culture is also maintained. The fishing industry, mussel culture creates employment to the natives. Beaches, resorts and ecological important areas offer good grounds for national parks. The spillage that occurred became a threat to these areas. ASAR scenes retrieved through wide-swath mode by ScanSAR technique showed that the area affected was greater than 400kms. Several organizations took part in field survey. The data ...
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