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On MODIS Retrieval of Oil Spill Spectral Properties in the Marine Environment

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2 Author(s)
Barbara Bulgarelli ; Joint Research Centre of the European Commission, Ispra, Italy ; Samuel Djavidnia

With its two daily acquisitions and the possibility to obtain near-real-time data free of charge, the NASA Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) shows interesting potential as a cost-effective supplementary tool for oil spill monitoring in the marine environment. The mechanism behind MODIS oil feature detection, as well as the type of information that might be retrieved, strictly depends on the illumination conditions. In the presence of sunglint contamination, MODIS can just locate the oil spill as a sea surface roughness anomaly, in similarity with radar observations, and no additional spectral information can be retrieved. MODIS detection in the absence of sunglint contamination however might allow extraction of oil feature spectral properties, which, in turn, may help in oil discrimination and classification. Careful atmospheric correction must be applied. An example of oil spill spectral property extraction from MODIS images is here shown for the Deepwater Horizon accidental oil spill.

Published in:

IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Letters  (Volume:9 ,  Issue: 3 )