Special Issue "The Environmental Impacts of Oil and Gas Industry: Potential and Limits of Remote Sensing Methods"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Environmental Sustainability and Applications".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 August 2022.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Mariapia Faruolo
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institute of Methodologies for Environmental Analysis, National Research Council, Tito Scalo (Potenza), Italy
Interests: optical satellite data for natural hazards detection and monitoring; satellite algorithms for industrial hotspots identification and characterization
Dr. Valeria Satriano
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Engineering, University of Basilicata, Potenza, Italy
Interests: optical remote sensing for oil spill detection and monitoring; remote sensing of water quality; development of satellite data management and processing algorithms

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue focuses on the role of earth observation (EO) data and remote sensing (RS) techniques for the identification and assessment of environmental impacts of both onshore and offshore oil and gas (OG) activities on air, water, soil, and ecosystems.

The oil and gas industry is a significant source of threats to the environment. Despite this, the demand for these non-renewable resources remains high. The issue of environmental sustainability is a major concern for governments and players from the oil and gas industry worldwide, which are both engaged in promoting environmentally sound industrial development. To this aim, accurate knowledge of impacts, risks, and possible accidents that may arise from these activities is fundamental to reducing pollution from OG activities and their impacts on human and society. Substantial challenges remain in obtaining timely and accurate information about these phenomena.

Within this context, one promising method of addressing this issue is to use EO systems, recognized as effective tools for surveying the environment. The synergistic use of EO-derived data and the integration with ground-level observations are becoming a fundamental requirement for identifying pollution sources from oil and gas platforms, tracking their emissions over time, and measuring and monitoring local to global sustainable development policies and programs.

The purpose of this Special Issue is to collect research articles addressing this complex and multifaceted topic, with particular reference to:

  • Exploring the current earth observation capabilities in providing an overview of the environmental status and of trends over time seen in relation to OG activities;
  • Analyzing the capabilities and drawbacks of satellite data (both optical and synthetic aperture radar (SAR)) and methods for detecting, characterizing, and estimating all impacts (environmental, social, economic) of OG activities.

Dr. Mariapia Faruolo
Dr. Valeria Satriano
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1900 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • earth observation
  • remote sensing
  • oil and gas industry
  • environmental impacts
  • satellite methods
  • monitoring systems
  • impact assessment methods
  • environmental sustainability

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Seawater Fluorescence Near Oil Occurrence
Sustainability 2020, 12(10), 4049; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12104049 - 15 May 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 767
Petroleum and its related products pose a serious pollution risk to the world’s seas and require a simple, rapid detection method. This is a difficult task if the pollution is under the water surface. One common approach to oil detection is excitation-emission spectroscopy [...] Read more.
Petroleum and its related products pose a serious pollution risk to the world’s seas and require a simple, rapid detection method. This is a difficult task if the pollution is under the water surface. One common approach to oil detection is excitation-emission spectroscopy (EEMs) of seawater exposed to oil for analyzing the fluorometric index (FIo/w) as a potential indicator of oil presence in the marine environment. In this paper, FIo/w was determined for both natural seawater and samples of the same water, but exposed to a relatively small portion of oil. The water samples were collected from the coastal and port waters of the Gdynia region (Southern Baltic Sea) from five stations, four times at two-week intervals. FIo/w indicates the changes between seawater sampled from the marine environment and the same seawater polluted with oil substances. Moreover, the obtained FIo/w values do not depend on the point and time of sampling. In all cases of seawater exposed to oil, significantly higher FIo/w values were observed than for unpolluted seawater. Moreover, the detection of oil by analyzing the value of FIo/w is efficient if the oil-to-water weight ratio is close to or above 5 × 10−6. Full article
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