Title: JRC Activities in the field of monitoring sea-based oil pollution: from research to the operational use of satellite images
Citation: 13th International Conference on Transport Science (ICTS) 2010
Publisher: University of Ljubljana
Publication Year: 2010
JRC N°: JRC59025
URI: http://www.fpp.edu/~mzanne/ICTS2010/
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: The activities of the Joint Research Centre (JRC), a Directorate General of the European Commission, in the field of monitoring sea-based oil pollution are here described. JRC has acquired a unique expertise analyzing the satellite images during the Prestige accident in 2002. Moreover, JRC .has analyzed a massive set of satellite images to provide a systematic mapping of the deliberate vessel discharges over all the European Seas. These maps and the associated statistics were repeated on an annual basis in order to assess the evolution of the oil pollution. This action helped to reveal, for the first time, what was the dimension of the problem, in particular in the Mediterranean and the Black Seas. Following the R&D experiences, the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) has launched the CleanSeaNet service, an operational service for the detection of oil spills. This service is currently implemented delivering Near Real Time (NRT) oil spill detections. This successful story, from research to the operational use of satellite images, has however opened new fields of research. Two of them are here introduced. The final Users (i.e. Coast Guards) need clear information on the risk related to a spill detected in a satellite image. Therefore, on this issue, the attention is moving from the confidence level (degree of confidence of the detection for an oil spill candidate) to an alert system. Secondly, the detected oil spill candidates can be cross checked with other ancillary data. This shall subsequently increase the reliability of the service by combining information on oil spill candidate location with the relevant contextual (e.g. maritime traffic) and meteo-oceanographic data of the area of interest.
JRC Directorate:Space, Security and Migration

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