History of a disaster: A baseline assessment of the Wakashio oil spill on the coast of Mauritius, Indian Ocean

Sankaran Rajendran*, V. M. Aboobacker, Vashist O. Seegobin, Jassim A. Al Khayat, Nelson Rangel-Buitrago, Hamad Al Saad Al-Kuwari, Fadhil N. Sadooni, Ponnumony Vethamony

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Oil spills from tanker ships provide adverse and irreversible impacts of a pollutant over coastal and marine environments. Using Sentinel-1 and 2 satellite images, this baseline paper presents the detection, assessment, and monitoring of the aground and further oil spill from the Wakashio ship of August 06, 2020, on the Mauritius coast. The oil spill started on August 06, after cracks developed on the hull, and continued until the total breakup of the ship on August 15, 2020. Data shows displacements in ship position of about 100 m, and a maximum change of 80° in orientation (from NS to NE). The remote sensing results were validated using met-ocean observations and reanalysis, which showed winds, waves, and tides of high magnitude at the accident site during the incident period. Analysis of the results of this event using REAS and CMEMS data indicate their usefulness to study similar future oil spills events.

Original languageEnglish
Article number113330
JournalMarine Pollution Bulletin
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Coral reef
  • Mauritius
  • Met-Ocean data
  • Oil spill
  • Sentinel data
  • Wakashio grounding

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science
  • Pollution

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