Satellite-Based Pollution Monitoring in Prince William Sound
File size: 2.8 MB
Date: January 1, 2016
Category: Environmental Monitoring
Description: Prince William Sound (PWS) on the southern coast of Alaska is characterized by high volumes of marine traffic both commercial (oil tankers, fishing vessels) and recreational. The ability to detect potential pollution events is vital for the area’s environmental and economic integrity. The Regional Citizens’ Advisory Council (RCAC) was formed to promote environmentally safe pipeline and tanker operations throughout PWS and its adjacent waters. In an effort to support RCAC’s mandate, this project was carried out to demonstrate the utility of satellite surveillance for environmental monitoring in PWS. Using freely available radar imagery from the recently launched Sentinel-1 mission, emphasis was placed on detecting potential oil slicks as well as large vessels transitioning PWS on their way to and from the Port of Valdez.
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