Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Envisat monitoring changes in oil spill

Date:
May 4, 2010
Source:
European Space Agency
Summary:
The European Space Agency's Envisat has captured the changes in direction of the rapidly-growing oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico as strong winds over the weekend pushed it around and hampered clean-up efforts.

In this radar image, acquired from Envisat's Advanced Synthetic Aperture Radar (ASAR) on 2 May 2010 03:45 UTC (Saturday night local time), the oil spill is visible due east of the Delta National Wildlife Refuge extending into the Gulf of Mexico. The white dots are oil rigs and ships. Radar is especially suited for detecting oil spills because it works day and night, can see through clouds (unlike optical sensors) and is particularly sensitive to the smoother water surface caused by the oil.
Credit: ESA

The European Space Agency's Envisat has captured the changes in direction of the rapidly-growing oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico as strong winds over the weekend pushed it around and hampered clean-up efforts.

Related Articles


In these latest images, the oil spill is visible due east of the Delta National Wildlife Refuge extending into the Gulf. The white dots are oil rigs and ships.

Wind can easily spread oil on the water, with the course determined by the wind's direction and speed. Following the explosion of the drilling rig on 22 April that produced the oil leak, the winds were blowing west-northwest. On Saturday winds were blowing from the southeast, pushing the slick toward Louisiana.

Envisat acquired these images from its Advanced Synthetic Aperture Radar (ASAR) and Medium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MERIS) on 2 May 03:45 UTC (Saturday night local time) and on 2 May 16:10 UTC (Sunday morning local time), respectively.

Radar is especially suited for detecting oil spills because it works day and night, can see through clouds (unlike optical sensors) and is particularly sensitive to the smoother water surface caused by the oil. Depending on the situation, oil is harder to detect in optical satellite observations because the surface changes are not as pronounced.

To see the latest MERIS images of the oil spill, visit the MIRAVI website (http://miravi.eo.esa.int/en/). MIRAVI, which is free and requires no registration, generates images from the raw data collected by MERIS and provides them online quickly after acquisition.

The next ASAR and MERIS images of the oil spill are scheduled for 5 May, with the images being made available about two hours later.

Envisat images are being provided to US authorities immediately after they are acquired through the International Charter Space and Major Disasters. On 22 April the US Geological Survey, on behalf of the US Coast Guard, requested the Charter to provide rapid access to radar and optical satellite imagery of the oil slick.

Since then, Envisat MERIS and ASAR data have been provided in near-real time and have been used by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The Charter is an international collaboration between space agencies to put satellite remote sensing at the service of civil protection agencies and others in response to natural and man-made disasters.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by European Space Agency. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

European Space Agency. "Envisat monitoring changes in oil spill." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 May 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100503111529.htm>.
European Space Agency. (2010, May 4). Envisat monitoring changes in oil spill. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 29, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100503111529.htm
European Space Agency. "Envisat monitoring changes in oil spill." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100503111529.htm (accessed March 29, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Earth & Climate News

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Antarctic Ice Is Melting Faster Than Ever

Antarctic Ice Is Melting Faster Than Ever

Newsy (Mar. 27, 2015) A new study of nearly two decades of satellite data shows Antarctic ice shelves are losing more mass faster every year. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Homes Near Landslide in Washington

Raw: Homes Near Landslide in Washington

AP (Mar. 27, 2015) Aerial footage from KOMO shows several homes near a landslide in Washington. KOMO reports that at least one of the homes has been damaged. (March 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Clean-Up Follows Deadly Weather in Okla.

Clean-Up Follows Deadly Weather in Okla.

AP (Mar. 26, 2015) Gov. Mary Fallin has declared a state of emergency for 25 Oklahoma counties after powerful storms rumbled across the state causing one death, numerous injuries and widespread damage. (March 26) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
At Least Four Dead After Floods in Northern Chile

At Least Four Dead After Floods in Northern Chile

Reuters - News Video Online (Mar. 26, 2015) At least four people have been killed by severe flooding in northern Chile after rains battered the Andes mountains and swept into communities below. Rob Muir reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins