Natural Black Sea oil source study

Posted: 08/13/2011 in all marine news

Hydro International  –

During Black Sea oil pollutions monitoring a natural oil source was detected, located in the Turkish sector 7km off the coast near Rize. The source was examined based on the analysis of multi-temporal satellite images by ScanEx specialists together with the experts of the Shirshov Institute of Oceanology.

Location of the source was determined based on the analysis of oil spills detected on 14multi-temporal radar images of ENVISAT and RADARSAT-1 satellites, acquired within 2003-2011.

The GeoMixer web-mapping application was used in the study. The spot with coordinates 41°09’10”N and 40°41’06”E, being the center of a group of spills is quite a precise indicator of the location of the oil source on the sea floor. The source is located in the deepwater part of the sea at the depth of 1,100 meters at the foot of the continental slope.

This oil seep has been known since XIX century, studied applying different methods, however this is next to no information available about it. Therefore a decision was made to study it using space radars and geoinformation technology.

Oil seepage volumes can be assessed by measuring spills acreage on radar images and based on simple physical considerations, connecting the thickness of oil film with its color that varies from rainbow in the place of surfacing to silver-grey on the circumference of the slick, – explains Senior Researcher of the Shirshov Institute of Oceanology Andrei Ivanov.

The area of the sea, covered by oil sheen, depending on the hydrometeorological conditions constitutes from 3 to 21 (9.7 sqkm on average), which enables to assess natural oil seepage volumes.

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