Tobago Oil Spill 

by | Feb 16, 2024

View the full animated gif at the homepage. (Credit: Contains modified Copernicus Sentinel data (2024), processed by ESA)

Before and after satellite images from the Copernicus Sentinel-1 mission show the scale of the oil spill that occurred off the shores of Trinidad and Tobago’s coastline in February 2024. The ship, identified as The Gulfstream, ran aground and overturned off the southern shores of Tobago Island. 

The final image of the animation, captured on Feb. 14, 2024, shows the oil spill has travelled over 160 kilometers westward. The spill is moving out of Trinidad and Tobago’s marine area and into Grenada’s southernmost marine area, which could affect neighbouring Venezuela. 

Satellite radar is particularly useful for monitoring the progression of oil spills because the presence of oil on the sea surface dampens down wave motion. Since radar basically measures surface texture, oil slicks show up well—as black smears on a gray background. 


April Issue 2024