A state of emergency has been declared after some 20 000 tonnes of diesel oil leaked into a river within the Arctic Circle. Images captured by the Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission show the extent of the spill.
According to media reports, the spillage occurred when a fuel tank at a power plant near Norilsk, operated by a subsidiary of Norilsk Nickel, collapsed on Friday 29 May. The leaked oil is reported to have drifted around 12 km from the accident site. In this animation, diesel oil is visible in the Ambarnaya River on both 31 May and 1 June – easily identifiable in crimson red.
The Ambarnaya River flows into Lake Pyasino – a major body of water and source of the Pysaina River.
Copernicus Sentinel-2 is a two-satellite mission to supply the coverage and data delivery needed for Europe’s Copernicus programme. The mission’s frequent revisits over the same area and high spatial resolution allow changes in water bodies to be closely monitored.