When analyzing the results of satellite monitoring of the eastern part of the Black Sea in 2016 and 2017, ScanEx specialists and the Institute of Oceanology of the Russian Academy of Sciences (IO RAS) discovered unprecedentedly large film contaminations of ship origin on the radar images of Sentinel-1A and Sentinel-1B satellites.
Quasi-synchronous optical images from the satellite Sentinel-2A, made in favorable weather conditions, confirmed the presence of extensive film formations on the sea surface. Most of the spots found were bar-shaped and were located in the Russian sector of the sea – in territorial waters or on their border. The detected spots were identified using standard and special analysis methods, which made it possible to unambiguously establish the occurrence of large ship spills.
On November 28, 2016, black oil spots were found on the coast of Sudak, with the central city beach being the most polluted. According to the assumption of mass media, a dry cargo ship could have become a source of fuel oil, which entered the Sudak Bay at the time of the storm. Also, the media reported about the entry of about 0.5 tons of fuel oil into the sea when the loading oil pipeline was broken at the terminal of JSC “Tamanneftegas” (November 18, 2016), however this terminal is far enough from the site of the first observation of the spill and such prolonged drift is unlikely. As a result, the cause / source of this pollution was allegedly a dry cargo ship, while a significant amount of fuel oil was evidently spilled.