Full title: An oil-on-water field campaign in the Coal Oil Point seep field off the coast of Santa Barbara, California: A Comparison between in-situ volumetric oil-to-water ratios and Synthetic Aperture Radar imagery.

By: Cornelius Quigley (UiT)

The Coal Oil Point (COP) seep field off the coast of California is a naturally occurring oil seep. Every day, for the last 500 thousand years, approximately 100 barrels of oil leak from the sea floor and are visible on the ocean surface. The constant and predictable nature of this phenomenon coupled with the sheltering effects of nearby islands makes this area an ideal natural laboratory to conduct oil spill research. In this seminar, we will outline a field campaign that was conducted by JPL in collaboration with NOAA and UiT in the COP seep field. We explore the possibility of using low noise, quad-polarimetric Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) data to determine the oil-to-water fraction of a verified oil slick on the ocean surface. We use data acquired by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA’s) L-band Uninhabited Aerial Vehicle Synthetic Aperture Radar (UAVSAR) for which a unique set of coincident in-situ data were acquired, comprised of multi-spectral aerial drone imagery, oil-to-water volumetric measurements, and continuous imagery from GoPro units fixed to a research vessel.

Oil in water
Oil from naturally occurring oil seep at Santa Barbara (Photo: Cornelius Quigley)