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Science Topic

Oil pollution

PML routinely monitors areas to detect if oil pollution occurs, so timely action can be taken.

PML have developed a Machine Learning algorithm to automatically detect oil slicks from satellite data. By routinely downloading and processing satellite data after every overpass and applying this automated oil slick detection it is possible to monitor areas for possible slicks and alert government authorities so that timely action can be taken.

The technique was developed in the Malacca strait, one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world, where oil spills are known to have disastrous consequences. It is currently being used as part of the EO4SD project to monitor oil spills off the coast of West Africa. Through this monitoring, regular discharges off the coast of Ghana have been identified . The service is also being offered to government and industry through PML Applications.

Resources and Links

EASOS Marine Watch case study


  • Operational Satellite Data Processing
  • Automated Oil Spill Detection
  • Expertise in image interpretation

Selected publications

Kurekin, AA; Loveday, BR; Clements, O; Quartly, GD; Miller, PI; Wiafe, G; et al. 2019. Operational Monitoring of Illegal Fishing in Ghana through Exploitation of Satellite Earth Observation and AIS Data. Remote Sensing.

People who work in this area of research

Dr Dan Clewley

Earth Observation Research Software Engineer
dac10/7/2022 7:23:49

William Jay

Airborne Earth Observation Data Analyst
wja10/7/2022 7:23:49

Dr Andrey Kurekin

Coastal Ocean Colour scientist
anku10/7/2022 7:23:49

Dr Mark Warren

Remote sensing scientist
mark110/7/2022 7:23:49