In the aftermath of the Norilsk, Russia oil spill from May 29, 2020, Proimagery analyzes what happened and proposes a strategy to mitigate future risk to similar sites. Governments, NGOs, and companies leverage insights from remote sensing (eg. satellite imagery) to detect and respond to environmental disasters.
On May 29, 2020, a fuel storage reservoir failed at a power plant outside Russia’s northernmost city of Norilsk. This failure caused the leaking of more than ten thousand tons of oil, contaminating the Ambarnaya river. Contaminated river water then flowed into lake Pyasino and its surrounding subsoil. The BBC has reported extensively on it here.
The following image slider shows a timelapse of the magnitude of the oil spill at Norilsk between May 30, 2020, and June 8, 2020, using data captured and processed by Proimagery.
How Proimagery used remote sensing to detect the extent of the oil spill
What could the company do to mitigate its risk?
The best practice in the mining industry is to forecast potential risk using Digital Elevation Models and Computational Fluid Dynamics and terraform the area appropriately to ensure potential spills do not impact the local environment. The cost and quality of Digital Elevation Models and the computation fluid dynamics models have dropped remarkably in the past several years to make this both technologically possible and cost-efficient.
The Norilsk oil spill has come and gone, and will forever change the environment. Proimagery was able to detect and quantify the extent of the damage using satellite imagery. Proimagery highly recommends utilizing a computational fluid dynamics-based model to predict risk on a go-forward basis for any company in this industry.