CSTARS Study Evaluates Oil Spill Detection Tool

Scientists led by the Center for Southeastern Tropical Advanced Remote Sensing (CSTARS) of the University of Miami recently published an overview of synthetic aperture radar (SAR) as a tool to identify oil slicks on the ocean surface using satellite imagery.

SAR images were used to trace the areal extent of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

SAR images were used to trace the areal extent of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

The researchers outlined the “capabilities and shortcomings” of SAR to identify oil slicks that enter the marine environment through seeps, leaks, illegal discharge, and other industrial, transportation, or drilling accidents. They summarized the techniques used for identifying oil with SAR, the advanced capabilities of the newer programs and instruments, and the advancing potential for SAR to be used to monitor oceans for natural and illegal spills. The team published their findings in the June 2013 issue of OceanographyOil Spills and Slicks Imaged by Synthetic Aperture Radar.

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Story reprinted courtesy of the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiaitve

CARTHE Kicks-Off Deepwater Horizon Investigation

Researchers from around the country came together at the Mayfair Hotel in Coconut Grove, Fla. this week to kick off the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative-funded Consortium for Advanced Research on the Transport of Hydrocarbons in the Environment (CARTHE). The GoMRI Research Board was an independent body established by BP to administer the company’s 10-year, $500 million commitment to independent research into the effects of the Deepwater Horizon incident.

Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science Professor Tamay Özgökmen and lead Director of CARTHE initiative address the crowd.

The goal of CARTHE is to develop and improve computational tools to accurately predict the fate of hydrocarbons found in crude oil that are released into the environment, and help to guide risk management and response efforts in mitigation and restoration of the economy and the ecosystem in situations like the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The Director of CARTHE initiative is UM Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science Professor Tamay Özgökmen, who hosted the meeting.

Twelve universities and research institutions distributed across four Gulf States and in four other states are represented on CARTHE. Chuck Wilson, GRI Chief Science Officer and Kevin Shaw, the Program Manager for the project attended the meeting, and were joined by 65 oceanographic modelers, observational scientists, biologist and chemists. The group shared presentations, participated in plenary sessions, and met in breakout groups.

Twelve universities and research institutions distributed across four Gulf States and in four other states are represented on CARTHE

The effort of CARTHE is complementary to that by seven other consortia in perhaps the largest coordinated oceanographic research effort in recent decades. CARTHE meeting was very productive, with plans being refined on how to peace together a series of hydrodynamic model to span an unprecedented range of spatio-temporal scales of motion in the ocean, and on how to carry out the largest dispersion experiment to be ever conducted in the ocean.

In addition to Özgökmen, the University of Miami has 12 principal investigators on the project, Drs. Shuyi Chen, Mark Donelan, Annalisa Griffa, Brian Haus, Angelique Haza, Mohamed Iskandarani, Arthur Mariano, Josefina Olascoaga, Ad Reniers, Ashwanth Shrinivasan, Ge-Cheng Zha, and Javier Beron-Vera.

Barbra Gonzalez
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