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Remotely

Sensing the Eects of an


Oil Spill on Kelp Forests in the
Santa Barbara Channel
Luke Espina
Macaulay Honors College at CUNY 2016

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Raphael Kudela
Mentor: Jesse Bausell

The InspiraLon: Refugio Oil Spill


Time: May 19th, 2015
Place: Santa Barbara Channel (Refugio State
Beach)

Oil Spills
Ecologically
devastaLng!
Important to
environmental
groups and industry

Refugio Oil Spill Site

Kelp Forests!

Giant Kelp

(Macrocys(s pyrifera)

Easy to remote
sense
FloaLng canopy on
water

Ecologically
important
PopulaLon
dynamics aect
area ecology

The Opportunity: Remote Sensing


Not many spills occur around kelp populaLons
Most of the studies have been done before
the age of remote sensing

My QuesLon:

Case Study:
How do kelp forests in the Santa Barbara
Channel change around the May 19th, 2015
Refugio Oil Spill?

Case Study:
How do kelp forests in the Santa Barbara
Channel change around the May 19th, 2015
Refugio Oil Spill?
> Provide a starLng point for future research
> Provide indicaLons of possible trends

Remote Sensing: Landsat 7


Pros:
MulLple images before and a`er spill
Track changes in kelp biomass!
Cons:
Poor spectral resoluLon

Imaging the Kelp

Example true-color Landsat 7 Image

Normalized Dierence
VegetaLve Index (NDVI)
Water

Kelp

Imaging the Kelp

Example true-color Landsat 7 Image

Apply NDVI

NDVI-applied on Landsat 7 Image

Apply NDVI

NDVI values Kelp Biomass

Landsat 7: Biomass Changes

April 16th, 2015 (Pre-oil spill)

Landsat 7: Biomass Changes


April 16th, 2015 (Pre-oil spill)
(5 Total Lme-points)

June 19th, 2015 (Post-oil spill)

Landsat 7: Biomass Changes

May 2nd, 2015 (Pre-oil spill)

Landsat 7: Biomass Changes

May 18th, 2015 (Pre-oil spill)

Landsat 7: Biomass Changes

June 3rd, 2015 (Post-oil spill)

Landsat 7: Biomass Changes

June 19th, 2015 (Post-oil spill)

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Refugio Oil Spill

Biomass Change Summary


West of Oil Spill Site

5000

4000

3000

2000
West

1000

East of Oil Spill Site

East

Biomass isnt working

Remote Sensing: AVIRIS


Pros:
Great Spectral ResoluLon!





Cons:
Only two Lme points

Remote Sensing: AVIRIS


Thus, we can nd
indicators of kkelp
elp
Health and ooil
health
il
concentra@ons
concentra@ons
Fluorescence Line
Height (proxy for
chlorophyll--health)
CDOM ConcentraLon
(proxy for oil)

Fluorescence Line Height


Indicates a measure of uorescence
due to chlorophyll
Greater FLH
-> Greater chlorophyll levels
Greater
kelp
health
-> H
ealthier
kelp

Fluorescence Line Height


Algorithm:

Fluorescence Line Height


Kelp

Fluorescence Line Height


Kelp

Baseline!

Fluorescence Line Height


Kelp

Height = FLH

CDOM ConcentraLon
Colored Dissolved Organic Maner
Proxy for organic parLculates due to
hydrocarbons
Possible proxy for mucus producLon in
kelp defense mechanism

Greater CDOM Index


-> Greater IndicaLon of Hydrocarbons/Mucus
-> Greater oil concentra@on

CDOM ConcentraLon

Fined for Santa Barbara


Channel by a research paper:

AVIRIS Imagery
Four locaLons,
(1 month) before and
(2 weeks) a`er spill:

1. Refugio
2. Goleta Point
3. West San Miguel
Island
4. South San Miguel
Island

So how do we do this?

Example
AVIRIS
Image Site

Apply NDVI

Map out Kelp pixels

Apply algorithms on Kelp Pixels


1. NDVI
2. FLH
3. CDOM

Relate the metrics


1. NDVI
2. FLH
3. CDOM

1. Biomass
2. Chl a
3. Oil

Example Analysis: CDOM Levels in


Southern San Miguel Island

Increase in CDOM Increase in Oil

Results Summary
1) Refugio
Biomass
Chl a
Oil

2) Goleta Point
Biomass
Chl a
Oil
3)West San Miguel Island
Biomass
Chl a (constant)
Oil

4)South San Miguel Island


Biomass (constant)
Chl a (constant)
Oil

Tying it all together


Increase in CDOM across all areas

Likely
Likely iindicates
ndicates p
presence
resence o
of
f o
oil
il

Refugio & Goleta Point:


Biomass
Chlorophyll a concentra@on

San Miguel Island


Varying Biomass changes
Constant Chlorophyll a concentra@on

Future DirecLons
Look at imagery immediately before and a`er oil
spill events
Tough due to satellite limitaLons and airborne
mission costs

Match changes in dierent kelp health metrics to


ground-measured oil concentraLons/trajectories
Repeat experiment over mulLple geographic
locaLons (establish trends)
Separate out CDOM contribuLons
Could be due to anthropogenic runo, etc...
Figure a bener way of measuring oil concentraLon

Acknowledgements
Dr. Raphael Kudela
Jesse Bausell



Dr. Emily Schaller
and everyone supporLng the
Student Airborne Research Program