Specialized analysis of recent satellite imagery of a tsunami-ravaged section of Porto Nova, India, near Sri Lanka, has revealed a devastating impact to local water quality. According to Applied Analysis of Billerica, Massachusetts, contaminated sediment has impacted a large number of inland water bodies in the area and is evident more than two kilometers offshore in the Indian Ocean.
Using a proprietary analysis process developed initially for military applications, Applied Analysis has processed a recent IKONOS satellite image of the region clearly showing the impacted areas. This advanced technology measures clarity of the water, enabling remote identification of potential clean water sites.
Additionally, the company processed images for suspended mineral and chlorophyll content, important indicators of fresh water quality. The processed images of Porto Nova clearly show the impact to the water quality in the area.
As additional satellite imagery becomes available, this technology will be helpful in the near term by identifying potential clean water sites, as well as those areas with the highest concentrations of likely contaminants.
In the weeks and months ahead, the same process can be used to determine the overall impact on aquaculture zones and, in offshore waters, the extent of sediment and debris that will most certainly affect the reefs and other living organisms so prevalent in the area.