Since May 2001 PETROBRAS is using spaceborne multi-sensor remote sensing for its sea surface monitoring program at the Campos, Santos and Espirito Santo Basins, southeastern Brazilian coast. This area is presently responsible for about 80% of all the Brazilian oil and gas production. Ocean color (SeaWiFS and MODIS), thermal infrared (NOAA/AVHRR), scatterometer (QuikSCAT) and Synthetic Aperture Radar (RADARSAT-1 and ENVISAT) data were integrated in order to detect and characterize different sorts of marine pollution and meteo-oceanographic phenomena. The near real time processing and delivery of the SAR data allowed the timely in-situ verification and sampling of the remotely detected events. Satellite sensors operating in the visible part of the spectrum are used to monitor ocean color variations and associated biomass changes. Thermal infrared radiometers are ideal to monitor features like oceanic fronts and upwelling plumes. However, the major limitation for both types of sensors is the extensive and persistent presence of clouds in the monitored area. Fortunately, microwave sensors such imaging spaceborne Synthetic Aperture Radars (SAR) permit the acquisition of oceanic scenes, regardless cloud coverage. With the spaceborne SAR systems available it is possible to have almost a daily synoptic view of large areas with suitable spatial resolution for the detection of different natural and men-made events. The integrated analysis of these dataset presents an important decision tool for emergencies, as well for the elaboration of contingency plans and evaluation of the oil industry activity impacts.

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