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Monitoring Mediterranean marine pollution using remote sensing and hydrodynamic modelling

  • Autori: LA LOGGIA, G.; Capodici, F.; Ciraolo, G.; Drago, A.; Maltese, A.
  • Anno di pubblicazione: 2011
  • Tipologia: Proceedings (TIPOLOGIA NON ATTIVA)
  • OA Link:


Human activities contaminate both coastal areas and open seas, even though impacts are different in terms of pollutants, ecosystems and recovery time. In particular, Mediterranean offshore pollution is mainly related to maritime transport of oil, accounting for 25% of the global maritime traffic and, during the last 25 years, for nearly 7% of the world oil accidents, thus causing serious biological impacts on both open sea and coastal zone habitats. This paper provides a general review of maritime pollution monitoring using integrated approaches of remote sensing and hydrodynamic modeling; focusing on the main results of the MAPRES (Marine pollution monitoring and detection by aerial surveillance and satellite images) research project on the synergistic use of remote sensing, forecasting, cleanup measures and environmental consequences. The paper also investigates techniques of oil spill detection using SAR images, presenting the first results of "Monitoring of marine pollution due to oil slick", a COSMO-SkyMed funded research project where X-band SAR constellation images provided by the Italian Space Agency are used. Finally, the prospect of using real time observations of marine surface conditions is presented through CALYPSO project (CALYPSO-HF Radar Monitoring System and Response against Marine Oil Spills in the Malta Channel), partly financed by the EU under the Operational Programme Italia-Malta 2007-2013. The project concerns the setting up of a permanent and fully operational HF radar observing system, capable of recording surface currents (in real-time with hourly updates) in the stretch of sea between Malta and Sicily. A combined use of collected data and numerical models, aims to optimize intervention and response in the case of marine oil spills.