Abstract. Campeche Bay, located in the Gulf of Mexico, is a well-established fossil fuel producing region, with numerous oil rigs exploring oil and natural gas. In an effort to reduce negative impacts on marine ecosystems, Pemex continuously monitored Campeche Bay for oil slicks, i.e., naturally occurring oil seeps and manmade oil spills. A long-term dataset (2000–2012) of synthetic aperture radar measurements from both RADARSAT satellites (766) is leveraged to investigate the spatial-temporal distribution of oil slicks (14,210) in this region. The present study has a threefold goal: (1) describe the monitoring strategy completed by Pemex and the information produced during such monitoring; (2) investigate the spatial-temporal distribution of the oil slicks observed in Campeche Bay, centering on aspects related to their occurrence; and (3) demonstrate the usefulness of RADARSAT-derived information in the execution of effective long-term environmental applications to locate seeps and spills on the sea surface. The observations confirm the massive oil input contribution of the Cantarell Oil Seep to the Campeche Bay. Oil spills (96%) usually occur in water depths shallower than 100 m, whereas oil seeps (63%) commonly occur in waters deeper than 1,000 m. The successful long-term application of RADARSAT-derived information has been shown.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)