ISSN 2070-7401 (Print), ISSN 2411-0280 (Online)
Sovremennye problemy distantsionnogo zondirovaniya Zemli iz kosmosa


Sovremennye problemy distantsionnogo zondirovaniya Zemli iz kosmosa, 2020, Vol. 17, No. 4, pp. 246-255

Sanchi tanker accident in the East China Sea: Oil pollution detection and monitoring from satellite radar and optical imagery

L.M. Mitnik 1 , E.S. Khazanova 1 
1 V.I. Il'ichev Pacific Oceanological Institute FEB RAS, Vladivostok, Russia
Accepted: 21.07.2020
DOI: 10.21046/2070-7401-2020-17-4-246-255
SAR images obtained on January 15–20, 2018 by ALOS-2 at wavelength λ = 23 cm, Sentinel-1B at λ = 5.6 cm, and COSMO-SkyMed at λ = 3 cm and a Multi Spectral Instrument (MSI) camera from the Sentinel-2 satellite, used to analyze sea pollution with condensate (ultra-light oil) leaking from the sunken Iranian tanker Sanchi. On January 6, the tanker collided with a cargo ship in the East China Sea, caught fire and drifted southeast before the explosion on January 14. The influence of wind and currents found from satellite data on the drift and shape of oil spots is considered. The approximate correspondence of condensate drift models with satellite observation data is noted. The correlation of the PALSAR-2 SAR and MSI images obtained with a time difference of 1 hour 13 minutes is shown. The contrasts of oil against the rough water surface are determined. Several gradations of contamination were distinguished, apparently differing in the degree of uniformity and films thickness. The difference between the clean sea NRCS and NRCS with a condensate film in a strip of ~1.5 km was 2–2.5 dB. The contrast of the dark gray films (with a small percentage of clean water) was approximately 1.5–2 dB. PALSAR-2 SAR image with light gray films has a contrast about 1 dB. The condensate contrasts at λ = 5.6 cm were greater and varied from 6–7 to 2–3 dB with a change in the film tone from black to gray with a wind of 5 m/s. Langmuir circulations are highlighted in MSI images against the background of clearly distinguishable wind waves: light condensate streaks alternating with dark streaks of water.
Keywords: oil films, condensate, tanker Sanchi, SAR images, MSI, ALOS-2, COSMO-SkyMed, Sentinel-1, Sentinel-2, AMSR2
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