Sucess Stories

Shore Type Mapping used to reduce oil spill impact

Shore type mapping using EO data in order to better plan and prioritize for the possible event of oil spill.

Service provider: Metria AB
User/Customer: Municipality, Rescue Services
EOservice: Shore type mapping
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Source: Metria AB

Oil spill have a negative impact on the environment. The consequences vary depending on the surrounding environment, but as the oil hit the shore-line an effective emergency response is necessary in order to reduce damage caused by oil spill. With a short time frame it is necessary to plan and prioritise actions to save the environment, including both vegetation and animals, in both the terrestrial and aquatic domain. For the municipality of Västerås (in Eastern Sweden) a shore-mapping was produced using optical EO data (10 meter spatial resolution) in combination with soil maps and other available in-situ databases. Mapping in EO data was performed in a 50 meter zone along the shore-line.

Various shore-line habitats require different response actions when oil spill occur. By using EO-data it is possible to prepare alternate rescue activities and also to prioritize what shore-lines to start with in the event of an oil-spill accident.

Effective emergency response is necessary in order to reduce damage caused by oil spill. With a short time frame it is necessary to plan and prioritise actions to save the environment. By combining EO data with in-situ databases it is possible to produce a decision support system that can be used to improve contingency planning.

Shore-type mapping can be important in the prevention of large damage to the shore-line and can potentially reduce the need for emergency activities along the full shore-line. The coming GMES Sentinel satellites will secure the continuation of useful EO data for this kind of product.

Access to the shore is considered to improve quality of life. The shore-line is frequently visited and used for recreational purposes. Furthermore, the shore-line is a habitat for a wide range of animals and plants and the consequences of pollutants are often very significant. One major risk concern is oil spill from commercial vessels. Unfortunately oil spill happens frequently along the shores and even in inland waters with connection to the seas. In order to reduce the impact of oil spill it is important to prioritise the rescue services to areas where most support will be needed. This will in turn reduce costs of emergency activities, but most important reduce the negative impact caused by pollution. Minimizing damage may be the single most important factor in protecting the shore-line and here decision support systems are of great help.

Shore type mapping with EO data is a cost-effective and flexible method with easy-to use results. The product is suitable for both regional and national scale and can be used to make operational planning more effective. The possibility to focus rescue services in the event of an oil spill will reduce both the impact on the environment and the costs related to the sanitation as areas more sensitive to oil spill are prioritised.