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Use of ASAR images to study the evolution of the Prestige oil spill off the Galician coast

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Space‐borne synthetic aperture radar has been proven to be a useful tool for ocean oil spill monitoring due to its large coverage, independence of the day–night cycle and all‐weather capability. In this paper, a method for oil spill detection based on a visual interpretation was applied to two consecutive Advanced Synthetic Aperture Radar (ASAR) images acquired during the Prestige oil spill off the Spanish coast. The obtained oil spill information was integrated into a Geographical Information System (GIS) database in order to study the spatial distribution and the evolution of the slicks between both days, in addition to carrying out a comparison with field observations. The results show the great capability of monitoring and forecasting marine oil spills caused by large oil tanker accidents by means of the use of radar imagery jointly with other information, such as wind data or in situ observations.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Universidad de Vigo, Departamento de Física Aplicada, Facultad de Ciencias, Campus Lagoas‐Marcosende s/n, 36200, Vigo, Spain 2: Instituto Español de Oceanografía, Cabo Estai‐Canido, Apartado 1552, 36200, Vigo, Spain

Publication date: 2006-05-01

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