Detecting mineral oil slicks in ice covered seas from space

The thinning and retreating of the Arctic sea ice has led to increased human presence in Arctic seas. Marine traffic is likely to increase in the future, as are activities such as fishing, oil and mineral exploitation. All these activities increase the risk for oil spills in ice-covered waters. Yet, the technology used to monitor for marine oil spills in the World’s oceans is not yet applicable for ice-covered seas. A new study presents a first approach to overcome this limitation. Read more here.

In a recent study, researchers from UiT in collaboration with the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory examined a new method to discriminate oil slicks and newly formed sea ice using synthetic aperture radar (SAR) imagery. Photo: Christian Morel.

Reference:

A. Malin Johansson et.al.: Can mineral oil slicks be distinguished from newly formed sea ice using synthetic aperture radar?, IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing, 2020.

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