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Chemical effluent & oil pollution alert and tracking

Chemical effluent & oil pollution alert and tracking

English EN

Validation activities for the CLEOPATRA operational system

It is difficult to reliably detect pollution spills, to forecast slick- propagation and assess the impact on coastal and marine environment. CLEOPATRA enables sustainable monitoring activities and supports effective risk mitigation actions.


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The sea is a basic resource and key measure for the quality of life for all countries of the Mediterranean basin. Unfortunately, pollution from human activities has resulted in a significant portion of the coast being heavily damaged, with some areas given up for lost. In particular, oil and chemical spills from ships at sea and industry on land have caused serious short and long-term damage in all Mediterranean countries. Once the pollutants have reached the shore or the sea bottom, cleaning operations are expensive and often ineffective since the damage has already been done. A key factor in the efficient intervention is thus accurate and timely information. CLEOPATRA, an EC funded project, aimed at addressing the problem of reliable detection and classification of pollution spills, as well as displacement forecasts for sea pollution. To this end an integrated chain was designed, covering research on input data, modelling and output interface. The project validation was divided in two parts, evaluation of the R&D component and evaluation of the integrated system. The first phase of the validation focused on assessing the research activity in terms of requirements fulfilment and completeness; and assessing results with respect to the improvements achieved. The second phase centred on the new applications and functionalities (PSM, GPJ, MPV and OSIS) as well as the integration among the components of the system. Validation activities included additionally the system's capability of massive image acquisition and pollution detection. From the research and system point of view, studies and developments were conceived with a high degree of integration with the modelling part, augmenting their environmental monitoring capabilities and usefulness. The system and tools were proven to be capable of covering the entire detection chain from raw data ingestion to drift modelling and information distribution. Different environmental protection actors will benefit from a greater timeliness and specificity in pollution prevention actions, through the use of Space Technologies, Meteo/oceanic algorithms and pollution spilling models. Improvements in terms of accuracy in the prediction of pollutant drift will support regional and national European authorities concerned with coastal disaster emergency management to identify potentially damaged areas.

Project information

Grant agreement ID: EVG1-CT-2002-00070

  • Start date

    1 March 2003

  • End date

    31 May 2005

Funded under:


  • Overall budget:

    € 2 864 873

  • EU contribution

    € 1 749 010

Coordinated by: