UAVSAR Characterizes Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill
NASA UAVSAR image of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, collected June 23, 2010. The oil appears much darker than the surrounding seawater in the greyscale image. This is because the oil smoothes the sea surface and reduces its electrical conductivity, causing less radar energy to bounce back to the UAVSAR antenna. Additional processing of the data by the UAVSAR team produced the two inset color images, which reveal the variability of the oil spill’s characteristics, from thicker, concentrated emulsions (shown in reds and yellows) to minimal oil contamination (shown in greens and blues). Dark blues correspond to areas of clear seawater bordering the oil slick.
Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech