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Deep Sea Oil Spill Cleanup Techniques: Applicability, Trade-offs and Advantages
(Released August 2010)

  by Pam Graham  


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Wildlife Rescue
  1. Application of TerraSAR-X Data for Emergent Oil-Spill Monitoring

    D. -J Kim, W. M. Moon and Y. -S Kim.

    IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing, Vol. 48, No. 2, Feb. 2010, pp. 852-863.

    Synthetic aperture radar (SAR) signals can propagate through hazardous weather and atmospheric conditions with heavy cloud cover, volcanic dust, snow, or rain. The all-weather capabilities of SARs have attracted significant interest in remote sensing communities, since serious environmental disasters such as oil spills have been highly elusive to optical sensors, making visible spectrum data vulnerable to rapidly changing atmospheric conditions. In this paper, we discuss the technical functionalities of TerraSAR-X from the emergency response perspective, describing its technical abilities in terms of a damping ratio, radiometric accuracy, and noise level with reference to the actual Hebei Spirit oil-spill incident that occurred on the west coast of the Korean peninsula in December 2007. The damping ratios estimated from the TerraSAR-X data as a function of Bragg wavenumber for various wind speeds indicate that TerraSAR-X data can be effectively used to identify oil-spill areas with acceptable accuracy. We also received ERS-2, ENVISAT, RADARSAT-1, and ALOS PALSAR data for this oil-spill event, not simultaneously but with varying time delays. The processing results for the multitemporal data sets obtained from the X- and C-band SAR systems are useful since they can be used to determine the near-real-time migration of spilt oil. The results of the current study indicate that there are distinct advantages of using X-band TerraSAR-X data for oil-spill detection compared to the data obtained at other available frequencies.

  2. Hebei Spirit oil spill monitored on site by fluorometric detection of residual oil in coastal waters off Taean, Korea

    Moonkoo Kim, Un Hyuk Yim, Sang Hee Hong, et al.

    Marine pollution bulletin, Vol. 60, No. 3, Mar 2010, pp. 383-389.

    The spatiotemporal distributions of dissolved and/or dispersed oil in seawater and pore water were monitored on site by fluorometric detection method after the Hebei Spirit oil spill. The oil concentrations in intertidal seawater, 15days after the spill, were as high as 16,600I14g/L and appeared to decrease below the Korean marine water quality standard of 10I14g/L at most sites 10months after the spill. Fluorometric detection of oil in pore water was introduced to eliminate the effects of grain size for the quantification of oil in sediments and to better explain spatial and temporal distribution of oil pollution at sandy beaches. The fluorescence detection method was compared with the conventional laboratory technique of total petroleum hydrocarbon analysis using gas chromatography. The method of fluorescence detection of oil was capable of generating results much faster and more cost-effectively than the traditional GC technique.

  3. Integrated assessment of water quality of the Costa da Morte (Galicia, NW Spain) by means of mussel chemical, biochemical and physiological parameters

    Beatriz Fernandez, Marina Albentosa*, Lucia Vinas, Angeles Franco, Juan J. Gonzalez and Juan A. Campillo.

    Ecotoxicology, Vol. 19, No. 4, Apr 2010, pp. 735-750.

    The aim of this study was to assess environmental quality at some of the sites most severely affected by the Prestige oil spill off 2years after the spillage (April and November 2004). For this purpose analyses of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) and several biochemical (antioxidant enzymes catalase, glutathione reductase, glutathione peroxidase, superoxide dismutase and DT-diaphorase and lipid peroxidation) and physiological [scope for growth (SFG)] biomarkers were determined on wild mussel populations (Mytilus galloprovincialis) collected at four points along the Costa da Morte and compared with those of a reference site not affected by the oil spill. Results showed that PAH contents had markedly decreased 17months after the accident, although they were higher in April than in November, when they showed values similar to background levels reported for this area. Nevertheless, the predominance of chrysene on PAH profiles, similarly to findings obtained immediately after the spill, indicated the Prestige as their main source. In spite of the low PAH levels recorded, antioxidant activity levels (explained through the integrated antioxidant response-IAR) were higher in the Costa da Morte than at the reference site either in April and November. In April IAR seems to be related to PAH levels found 3months after the accident (February 2003), suggesting the persistence in the environment of oxidative stress-producing components from the spill. However, evidence of oxidative stress was not reflected at physiological level by scope for growth, with only very slight differences being observed between values from the reference site and those from Costa da Morte sites. In conclusion, although 2years after the spill PAHs bioaccumulated by mussels from the Costa da Morte had decreased to background levels, biochemical parameters showed signals of oxidative stress in mussels from this area. However, SFG reflected a good health status for the mussel populations studied and did not reveal evidence of physiological disturbance either 17 or 24months after the Prestige spill.

  4. Oil spill detection from SAR intensity im gery using m rked point process

    Yu Li and Jonathan Li.

    Remote Sensing of Environment, Vol. 114, No. 7, 15 Jul 2010, pp. 1590-1601.

    This p per presents new lgorithm for the detection of oil spill from SAR intensity im ges. The proposed lgorithm combines the m rked point process, B yesi n inference nd M rkov Ch in Monte C rlo (MCMC) technique. In this p per, the c ndid tes of oil spills or d rk spots in SAR intensity im ge re ch r cterized by Poisson m rked point process. The m rked point process is formed by group of r ndom points ( s point process modelling the loc tions of oil spills) nd set of p r meters including geometric p r meters of windows centred t the r ndom points nd g mm distribution p r meters ( s the m rks tt ching to e ch point). As result, the c ndid tes of oil spills re represented by group of windows, in which the intensities of pixels follow independent nd identic l g mm distribution with lower me n th n th t for the identic l g mm distribution of the pixels out of windows. Following the B yesi n p r digm, the posterior distribution, which ch r cterizes the loc tions nd st tistic l distributions of oil spills, c n be obt ined up to norm lizing const nt. In order to simul te from the posterior distribution nd to estim te the p r meters of the posterior distribution, the Revis ble Jump MCMC (RJMCMC) lgorithm is used. The optim l loc tions nd sizes of d rk spots re obt ined by m ximum posteriori (MAP) lgorithm. The proposed ppro ch is tested using R d rs t-1 SAR im ges with oil spills indic ted by hum n n lysts. The results show th t the proposed ppro ch works well nd is very promising.

  5. Wireless Sensor for Continuous Real-Time Oil Spill Thickness and Location Measurement

    H. Denkilkian, A. Koulakezian, R. Ohannessian, et al.

    IEEE Transactions on Instrumentation and Measurement, Vol. 58, No. 12, Dec. 2009, pp. 4001-4011.

    Marine pollution by oil spills is a devastating environmental hazard, requiring a low-cost efficient system for continuous and real-time thickness measurement and localization of oil. Knowing that none of the previous detection methods has managed to fully meet these requirements, it is necessary to devise a new technique for guiding and speeding up the clean-up process of oil spills. This paper presents a sensor device that is capable of sensing, processing, and transmitting information about an oil spill (location and thickness). This paper discusses two new methodologies of detection based on the difference in the absorbance spectral signatures and electric conductivity properties of oil and water. This paper also discusses the mechanical design of the device, the hardware implementation of its components, and the integration and evaluation of the whole system. The experimental results confirm the effectiveness of the proposed method under different lighting, salinity, temperature, and sea conditions.