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


Sovremennye problemy distantsionnogo zondirovaniya Zemli iz kosmosa, 2009. Issue.6. Vol.1. P. 409-420

Satellite monitoring of the aftereffects of a catastrophic oil spill in the Kerch Strait

О.Ю. Лаврова , Т.Ю. Бочарова , М.И. Митягина , А.Я. Строчков 
Институт космических исследований РАН, 117997 Москва, Профсоюзная 84/32
Results of satellite monitoring of the aftereffects of the catastrophic oil spill from a tanker wreck in
the Kerch Strait 11 November 2007 are presented. All available satellite SAR data from the region
(ASAR Envisat, Radarsat, TerraSAR-X and ERS-2 SAR) were analyzed to assess the scale of the
catastrophe. Areas most affected by pollution were identified. Satellite data analysis results were
compared with the results of numerical modeling performed by colleagues from the State Oceanographic
Institute (Moscow), official information, and eye-witnesses reports. Over the period of spring - autumn
2008, satellite monitoring of the region revealed a renewal of sea surface pollution by oil films from the
sunken bow part of the tanker. These films were carried by winds and currents away for several
kilometers and hence acted as tracers, which allowed us to closely observe circulation processes in the
Kerch Strait. The most informative SAR images and processing results are presented here
In September 2008, sub-satellite observations were conducted near Taman and on Tuzla Spit.
Evidence of heavy pollution of the south end of Tuzla Spit by mazut washed ashore after the catastrophe
was obtained.
Keywords: catastrophe in the Kerch Strait, satellite monitoring, radar remote sensing of sea surface, oil films
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