New approach to oil spill detection in East Mediterranean
CSA GeoSpatial Services is deploying remote sensing and geographic information system (GIS) technology to map shoreline sensitivity to oil spills in the eastern Mediterranean Sea.
The Environmental Sensitivity Index (ESI) is a widely used system for ranking and classifying shoreline sensitivity based on degree of wave energy, potential penetration of oil into the substrate, and natural oil retention times by shore type.
Increased offshore exploration and development activities in the eastern Med have increased the risk to shorelines in the region of exposure to oil spills and other incidents. However, there are challenges in terms of security and accessibility, making traditional aerial and ground surveys difficult.
CSA GS’ technique involves acquiring, examining and interpreting high-resolution, geo-referenced satellite imagery and assigning ESI shore types to digital shoreline segments in GIS.
It allows integration of other layers of spatial data such as oil spill model trajectories, environmental sampling designs, and response plans. Once integrated into GIS, the shoreline classifications can also be made available online through a Web-accessible GeoPortal designed and operated by CSA.