Ejercicio 2.3

What’s drifter?

The success in the management of a marine pollution accident that involves a spill depends on several factors such as the ability to detect the spills, the capabilities to follow the movement of the slicks, and the capabilities to forecast the drift of pollutant over time. Different approaches and technologies can be applied for those purposes that will support the decision making process in terms of equipment deployment and protection of sensitive areas. Although the effectiveness of technologies that contribute to a better localization and follow up of slicks has been demonstrated during recent spill events, limitations and gaps still remain and deserve additional efforts.
DRIFTER is a project framed in AMPERA Eranet (VI FP) that includes the following issues:
  1. Improvement of the capability to follow up spills by:
    • Exploration and improvement of the most suitable drifting buoys to be used for the different types of spills.
    • Exploration of application of dyes to mark a colourless slick of chemical.
    • Application of satellite and remote sensing technologies.
  2. Improvement of the capability to forecast drifts of oil, hazardous noxious substances (HNS) and inert.
  3. Review, identification and adaptation of oil spill monitoring and forecasting technologies to predict the behaviour and drifts of HNS and inert.
  4. Elaboration of protocols for data exchange and management.
  5. Wide dissemination of results to stakeholders and end users.

Expected results

The outcomes of the project are of high applicability and include guidelines for drifters and dyes application, wind and wave coefficients, operational models, good practices protocols for communication and data exchange, new algorithms for segmentation, characterization and discrimination of oil spills, spectral studies of the different pollutants and information on the most adequate bands for their detection. DRIFTER approaches are presented and described here.


INTECMAR is carrying out several sets of experiments in order to study the influence of ocean-meteorological conditions and buoy features on the drifting trajectory. All these experiments are available through this Web Page.