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An approach to operational oil pollution monitoring in coastal zones

Olga Lavrova(1) , Tatiana Bocharova(1) , Marina Mityagina(1) , and Andrey Kostianoy(2)

(1) Space Research Institute, 84/32, Profsoyuznaya Str., 117997 Moscow, Russian Federation
(2) Shirshov Institute of Oceanology, 36, Nakhimovskiy prosp., 117851 Moscow, Russian Federation


Preliminary results of testing of complex techniques of operational oil pollution monitoring in coastal zones are presented. The test regions are north-east Black Sea, south-east Baltic Sea and west Caspian Sea. Monitoring involves timely detection of pollution events, determination of pollutants and pollution sources, forecast of evolution, and estimation of environmental danger. SAR images from instruments on board ERS-2, Envisat and Radarsat satellites are the core data element. Factors hampering pollution-oriented interpretation of SAR data are determined. In particular, the class of objects and phenomena easily confused with oil patches (“oil-alikes”) is described. Additional data required to overcome these obstacles and their availability is discussed. The testing is viewed as the first step towards the development of a semi-automatic system of oil pollution monitoring. At the present stage, the software helping a human operator not to skip potential oil pollution events manifested in SAR images is under development.



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