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.

Read more

Story reprinted courtesy of the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiaitve

Drift Away with Bob!

Meet Bob the Drifter, a specially designed tool used by CARTHE scientists to track where ocean currents take spilled pollutants, people, and larval lobster at sea. In this new Waterlust video, Bob is equipped with a GPS unit as he drifts along Gulf of Mexico ocean currents for CARTHE scientists to track where he goes and how fast he is moving.

Bob is one of the many important devises that collect data for CARTHE, the Consortium for Advanced Research on Transport of Hydrocarbon in the Environment.  CARTHE studies ocean currents in the Gulf of Mexico to help predict where oil or other toxins may go in the event of a future spill.  This same data can be used to predict the location of people lost at sea and how far larval animals may travel before they settle.

The CARTHE team is based at the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science and is funded by the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI).  It is comprised of over forty scientific researchers, postdocs, students and administrative staff from fourteen universities and research institutions.

The key to solving tomorrow’s spill-related problems lies in the research CARTHE is conducting today.  To learn more about CARTHE research, visit www.CARTHE.org.

— RSMAS Communications Team

Follow the Rosenstiel School on Twitter: @UMiamiRSMAS
“Like” the Rosenstiel School on Facebook: www.Facebook.com/Rosenstiel School
Circle the Rosenstiel School on Google+ : Rosenstiel School