Oil Spill Detection and Mapping in Low Visibility and Ice

In order to mount an effective response, it is critical to know where spilled oil is at any given time, and the boundaries of the contaminated area.

This is achieved through a combination of surveillance (relying heavily on remote sensing), tracking beacons and trajectory modelling. During freeze-up and through much of the winter, long periods of darkness and numerous variables such as oil type, ice coverage and oil distribution in the ice all add to the challenges of detecting, mapping and tracking oil in different ice environments. Conversely, close to 24 hours of daylight in the spring and summer months can help to facilitate the remote sensing and monitoring of spilled oil during breakup and open-water periods.