Title: Satellite Mapping of Oil Spills in the Mediterranean Sea
Authors: TOPOUZELIS KostasBERNARDINI ANNALIAFERRARO DI SILVI E CASTIGLIONE GUIDOMEYER-ROUX SERGETARCHI DARIO
Citation: FRESENIUS ENVIRONMENTAL BULLETIN vol. 15 no. 9 p. 1009-1014
Publisher: PARLAR SCIENTIFIC PUBLICATIONS (P S P)
Publication Year: 2006
JRC N°: JRC32076
URI: http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC32076
Type: Articles in Journals
Abstract: Besides accidental pollution caused by ships in distress, different types of routine ship operations lead to deliberate discharges of oil in the sea. Illicit discharges are the greatest source of marine pollution from ships, and the one which poses an long-term threat to the marine and coastal environment. Reliable monitoring methodologies and continuously updated comprehensive information are key elements to create effective contingency planning. The present activities of the Joint Research Centre (JRC), in the field of monitoring sea-based oil pollution using space-borne radar imagery are described. A specific methodology for processing and interpreting a massive set of satellite images has been implemented. Such an approach allows to perform a systematic mapping of the possible illicit vessel discharges over all the European Seas. These maps and the associated statistics are repeated on an annual basis in order to assess its evolution. In particular the results obtained for the period 1999-2002 for the Mediterranean Sea are presented. This analysis is of special interest due to the lack of a regular aerial surveillance as that in the North and Baltic Sea. This action helped to reveal for the first time what is the dimension of the oil pollution problem, thus stressing the need for more concerted international actions.
JRC Institute:Institute for the Protection and Security of the Citizen

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