Oil spill drift forecast
Remote sensing data and satellite imagery have been used for oil spill monitoring and, in particular, oil spills' drift monitoring for a long time. The most widely used type of the ERS data is still the radar data. It is an effective tool for different tasks related to marine: vessel tracking, ice coverage monitoring, oil spills monitoring, etc.

Radar data has significant advantages:
1. Independent of cloudiness, fog, smoke.
Frequencies of space radiolocation (3,1 cm (X-band) – 23,5 cm (L-band)) have microwave radiation that is able to penetrate through clouds, smoke, smog, fog. In addition, sometimes radar remote sensing is used for detection of underground utilities.


Oil spills from oil platforms near the Apsheron peninsula. The red arrow shows meteodata.

2. Independent of daylight.
Radiolocation system uses an autonomous source of radiation which allows acquiring imagery in the night-time. This feature permits to increase data volume and to provide regular monitoring of AOI.

3. Extraction of additional data.
Besides the information about the oil spill, specialists can extract data about vessels' geolocation, ice situation, the speed of wind close to the water surface. The last one is an important factor of oil spill spreading.
Many countries use radar remote sensing technique for oil spill monitoring. Often this technique is a part of rapid response systems. 


Wind speed close to the water surface. Arrows show wind direction, colour indicates wind speed.

There are several approaches to providing radar remote monitoring; however, basically, they are divided into two major groups:

1. Rapid monitoring
National systems of oil spills' rapid monitoring of Norway, USA, Canada are good examples of the first approach. 

In Norway, the monitoring system based on satellite and aerial monitoring. Radar data is acquired, processed and analyzed automatically. Then, specialists interpret and assess the reliability of the data – high, medium, low. All results of water pollution send to the Norwegian Pollution Control Authority (SFT). This organization works under the Royal Norwegian Ministry of Climate and Environment. After this coastal service of Norway sends an airplane to the polluted zone and gathers information about the source of pollution. 
Similar systems operate in Canada and USA within the Integrated Satellite Tracking of Oil Pollution (ISTOP) government programme.
Nevertheless, this approach has disadvantages. First of all, it is rather expensive. Also, there is a probability of receiving a false alarm or missing the real alarm (as a result of the automatic processing of the data). But all these problems can be solved by using the second approach.

2.  Comprehensive geoinformation systems (GIS) development.
European countries widely use GIS (e.g. CleanSeaNet, Primi) which permit to fill the gaps of rapid monitoring systems. With GIS specialists can collect and store geospatial data, conjugate archive data with new data. The main goal of the GIS is to get comprehensive information about a particular oil spill and its source. With this data, we can predict the dynamics of an oil spill's spreading.

Stages of oil spill monitoring:
  • Preprocessing of a radar image (radiometric correction, orthorectification, etc.);
  • Oil spill detecting (marking borders of an oil spill, attribute assign, etc.);

Marking the oil spills. Software: ERDAS IMAGINE.
  • Extraction of additional information (ice situation, the speed of wind close to the water surface);
  • Conjunction of additional data (hydrological data, meteorological data, vessel's geolocation, etc.);
  • Comprehensive analysis of all data in GIS. Here specialists must discard false pollution sources and predict the scenario of the oil spill's spreading;
  • Completion of the analysis, uploading to the WEB-portal.

Final result of the analysis. The completed GIS with metadata of several detected oil spells.

For consultations and cost calculation contact us via e-mail: innoter@innoter.com or by the phone: +7 495 245-04-24
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