State of Emergency Declared After Massive Diesel Oil Leak Within the Arctic Circle

Images captured by the Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission show the extent of the spill. Credit: Contains modified Copernicus Sentinel data (2020), processed by ESA, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO

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, May 29. 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 May 31 and June 1 – 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 program. The mission’s frequent revisits over the same area and high spatial resolution allow changes in water bodies to be closely monitored.

ArcticEuropean Space AgencyOilPollution