SkyTruth is not involved in the legal action, but we've been tracking this spill since we "discovered" it on satellite imagery during the BP / Deepwater Horizon disaster in 2010. We've compiled a linked list of all the pollution reports for this incident that we could find at the Coast Guard's National Response Center (mostly submitted as required by law by Taylor Energy or their contractors; some submitted by passers-by), all the direct observations and measurements of the slick on satellite images made by SkyTruth and recently by image analysts at NOAA, and observations from flyovers by Gulf Monitoring Consortium and On Wings of Care.
We also attempted to estimate the cumulative amount of oil that has leaked into the Gulf since Hurricane Ivan.
Now we have a powerful new tool to do offshore pollution monitoring, with the successful launch earlier this year of the Landsat-8 satellite. These images, while not as frequently acquired, are much more detailed than the twice-daily MODIS satellite images we've been relying on.
Here is what the Taylor slick looked like on a Landsat-8 image shot on June 18, 2013:
|Direct measurement of slick on June 8, 2013.|
Polluters beware: when the European Space Agency's Sentinel-1 satellite is launched, we'll soon have radar imagery back in our monitoring toolkit. That will open up a lot of new monitoring possibilities. We'll need a few more eyeballs looking at images around here to take advantage of these great new data sources, so if you're interested in becoming a volunteer skytruther, or contributing to our work, please contact us!