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oil spill, SANCHI, VIIRS Nightfire, VIIRS Day/Night Band, remote sensing

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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 or daytime optical imagery could not provide timely and adequate coverage. In this study, we show the unprecedented value of Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) Nightfire product and Day/Night Band data in tracking the oil tanker's dri fting 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 root‐mean‐square 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.

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

Geophysical Research Letters, v. 45, issue 7, p. 3212-3220

©2018. American Geophysical Union