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Marine oil spill detection, statistics and mapping with ERS SAR imagery in south-east Asia

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With a large coverage, short repeativity, day and night, and all- weather capability, ERS SAR imagery has been proven to be a useful tool for ocean oil spill monitoring. The paper discusses ocean oil pollution detection, statistics and mapping in south-east Asian waters by using ERS-1/2 SAR data. The work is roughly divided into four main steps. Possible oil slicks are first identified from each image. Next, the scene in which most slicks have been detected within a frame is selected for re-examination and all oil slicks detected on this image are further classified into either high, medium or low probability categories. The overall statistical results are then complied and values of normalized oil slick occurrence intensity for various scenarios computed for each ERS frame. Finally, spatial oil spill distribution maps in the south-east Asian waters are derived. The results show very good agreement with shipping routes as well as in situ data in the region.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Centre for Remote Imaging, Sensing and Processing, National University of Singapore, Lower Kent Ridge Road, S17, Singapore 119260, Republic of Singapore;, Email:

Publication date: August 1, 2003

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