Photo: Sentinel-1 captures the Tobago oil spill.

Credit: Contains modified Copernicus Sentinel data (2024), processed by ESA, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO

Before and after satellite images from the Copernicus Sentinel-1 mission show the scale of the oil spill on the beaches of Trinidad and Tobago’s coastline earlier this week. The ship, identified as the Gulfstream, ran aground off the southern coast of the island of Tobago and capsized.

The last image in the animation, taken at 23:18 CET (22:18 UTC) on February 14, shows the oil spill has traveled more than 160 km to the west. The spill is moving out of Trinidad and Tobago’s waters into the southernmost waters of Grenada — which could affect neighboring Venezuela.

Satellite radar is particularly useful for monitoring the progress of oil spills because the presence of oil on the ocean surface reduces wave motion. Since radar primarily measures Oil slicks show up well — like black spots on a gray background.

Credit: Contains modified Copernicus Sentinel data (2024), processed by ESA, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO

Copernicus Sentinel data is being used for international charter space and major disaster activations requested by national authorities (Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management) to provide timely and accurate information to mitigate environmental impacts. Integrating satellite images to facilitate effective surveillance.

Reference: Image: Sentinel-1 captures Tobago oil spill (2024, February 16) Retrieved 17 February 2024 from https://phys.org/news/2024-02-image-sentinel-captures-tobago-oil.html Obtained

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