This close-up image of the northwest coast of Spain was captured on
November 21, 2002, by the IKONOS satellite from 423 miles in space. The
area was very cloudy and this was one of only two areas where there were
breaks in the clouds. The coastline was in shadow at the time of the
overpass, but several dark-colored fingers of oil are visible reaching
through white waves towards the cliffs along the shoreline.
The area pictured here is just north of Cape Finisterre, which is the
westernmost part of Spain. The oil tanker sank some 130 miles due west
of Cape Finisterre, and ecologists are predicting an environmental
catastrophe as the oil covers the ocean surface and washes ashore.
radar image revealed oil on the ocean’s surface.
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This image originally appeared on the Earth Observatory. Click here to view the full, original record.