Oil Spill Detection in Northern European Waters: Approaches and Algorithms

  • A. H. S. Solberg
  • C. Brekke

The combined use of satellite-based Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) images and aircraft surveillance flights is a cost-effective way to monitor deliberate oil spills in large ocean areas and catch the polluters. SAR images enable covering large areas, but aircraft observations are needed to prosecute the polluter, and in certain cases to verify the oil spill. We discuss the limitations of satellite imaging of oil spills compared to aircraft monitoring. Automatic detection of oil spills has proven to be an interesting complement to manual detection. We present an overview of algorithms for automatic detection, and discuss their potential compared to manual inspection as part of an operational oil spill detection framework. Experimental results show that automatic algorithms can perform compa rable to manual detection, both in terms of accuracy in detecting verified oil spills, false alarm ratio, and they can also speed up the image analysis process compared to fully manual services.


Synthetic Aperture Radar Synthetic Aperture Radar Image False Alarm Ratio Synthetic Aperture Radar Satellite Aerial Surveillance 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. H. S. Solberg
    • 1
  • C. Brekke
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of InformaticsUniversity of OsloNorway

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