, Volume 1, Issue 2, pp 143-153

The use of Landsat to monitor Deep Water Dumpsite 106

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Abstract

Since the early 1970's, remote sensing has been used to study ocean dumping at some of the hearshore ocean dump sites off the coast of the United States, but little remote sensing had been done over the deep water ocean disposal sites. This report summarizes what has been learned from the remote sensing of ocean dumping by the Landsat satellites at Deep Water Dumpsite 106. Of the three major types of waste material discharged at Deep Water Dumpsite 106, only the titanium pigment process acid waste has been sighted. From early in 1977 to May 1979, 11 acid dumps were observed by Landsat. All five of the dumps sighted in 1977 occurred within warm core Gulf Stream eddies and the plumes moved clockwise within the eddies. Four of those dumps were seen to be located northeast of the original dump location while the fifth one was sighted south of the original dump location. The six remaining observed dumps, discharged in the absence of an eddy, were seen to be located generally south of the original dumping locations. The average speed of the dump movement was 0.68 kt with a range from 0.17 to 1.17 kts. Plume dispersion showed a tendency toward greater dispersion as the plume got older with the widest plume cross section measured on the order of 2100 m.