The marine environment is an abundant source of resources, and provides food, natural resources in the form of oil, gas and minerals, and the power of the ocean can be harnessed for generating energy. Satellites can help to locate and study these resources.
SENTINEL-1's SAR mission supports marine wind monitoring and natural oil seepage monitoring.
Mapping the world's largest coral reef
29 November 2013
Scientists have used satellite observations to create a set of high-resolution 3D maps of the entire Great Barrier Reef - a critical step towards identifying, managing and protecting what lies beneath the waters.
Sitting off the east coast of Australia, the Great Barrier Reef is the world's largest coral reef system, covering more than 344,000 sq km. The reef's diversity of life faces numerous threats such as climate change, pollution, fishing and outbreaks of the coral-preying crown-of-thorns starfish.
While these coral reefs are ecologically significant, they have proven difficult to map from survey vessels or aircraft owing to their shallow nature and remoteness.
The German aquatic remote sensing company EOMAP has used satellites to overcome these hurdles. The result is the largest project of its kind ever conducted in Australia: a high-resolution, 3D map of the entire reef system.