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Sun, S., Lu, Y., Liu, Y., Wang, M., & Hu, C. (2018). Tracking an oil tanker collision and spilled oils in the East China Sea using multi‐sensor day and night satellite imagery. Geophysical Research Letters, 45(7), 3212–3220.
Abstract: Satellite remote sensing is well known to play a critical role in monitoring marine accidents such as oil spills, yet the recent SANCHI oil tanker collision event in January 2018 in the East China Sea indicates that traditional techniques using synthetic aperture radar (SAR) or daytime optical imagery could not provide timely and adequate coverage. In this study, we show the unprecedented value of VIIRS Nightfire product and Day/Night Band (DNB) data in tracking the oil tanker's drifting pathway and locations when all other means are not as effective for the same purpose. Such pathway and locations can also be reproduced with a numerical model, with RMS error of < 15 km. While high‐resolution optical imagery after 4 days of the tanker's sinking reveals much larger oil spill area (> 350 km2) than previous reports, the impact of the spilled condensate oil on the marine environment requires further research.