CSTARS Offers Historic Bird's Eye View of the Oil Spill Using Satellite Imagery
The Deepwater Horizon oil platform caught fire after an explosion on April 20, 2010 at approximately 22:00 EDT. The Center for Southeastern Tropical Advanced Remote Sensing (CSTARS) at the University of Miami provided unprecedented daily coverage of this event, from space -- from the first fire on the platform that claimed several lives to the oil plume’s extension through the waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Spanning the area from Texas to Florida, CSTARS offered timely multi-satellite data to federal, state, and local responders, as well as to the scientific community.
This event marked the first-ever use of extensive, sustained (unclassified) remote sensing data to cover an ecological disaster. The CSTARS website became a very reliable resource for the latest images of the oil spill within days. Dr. Hans Graber, executive director of CSTARS and professor at UM’s Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science shared images from CSTARS with the media, helping these outlets explain the magnitude of this environmental catastrophe.