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Robust Satellite Techniques for oil spill detection and monitoring using AVHRR thermal infrared bands

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In this article, a new satellite technique for oil spill detection and monitoring is fully presented and discussed. It is based on the general RST (Robust Satellite Techniques) approach applied to Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) observations in the thermal infrared region of the electromagnetic spectrum. The proposed approach, which exploits the analysis of multi-temporal satellite records, seems to be able to detect the anomalous signals on the sea due to the oil polluted areas with excellent reliability (0% of false alarms) and good sensitivity in different observational conditions. Its performances have also been evaluated in comparison with another well-known AVHRR approach, analysing the spill event which happened during the Gulf War off the Kuwait and Saudi Arabia coasts in January 1991. The results confirm the reliability of the proposed approach which promises to offer new economically sustainable opportunities for building a near-real-time monitoring system for oil spills on a global scale. Moreover, in order to further assess the exportability of the proposed approach in different observational and environmental conditions, outcomes obtained by applying it to the SekiBaynunah event affecting the Gulf of Oman in March 1994 are also shown.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Unità Operative Territorio ed Attività Produttive, ARPA Lombardia, Milano, Italy 2: Institute of Methodologies for Environment Analysis, National Research Council, Tito Scalo (PZ), Italy 3: Department of Engineering and Physics of Environment,University of Basilicata, Potenza, Italy

Publication date: July 20, 2011

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