Impact of Hurricane Issac on Recovery of Saltmarshes Affected by the BP Oil Spill

Oil spills are a major thrat to sensitive coastal ecosystems. They cause vegetation stress leading to loss of plant cover and eventually, retreat of the coastal shoreline. In the Gulf of Mexico, home to extensive oil extraction & refining, there are other factors in additon to oil stress:

• Hurricanes and tropical storms

• Sea level rise due to climate change

• Subsidence due to decline in sediment supply from the rivers

• Barataria Bay in the Mississippi Delta

• April to July 2010, largest coastal oil spill in US history

• August 2012, hurricane Isaac passed over the same region

• Hyperspectral remote sensing is capable of:

• Mapping the oil spill extent & determining its impact

• Monitoring recovery, or lack


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