Container vessel stuck in Suez Canal visible through the GEO-DAMP platform
A giant 400m-long container ship is stuck in Egypt's Suez Canal since Tuesday March 23rd, after strong winds and a sandstorm that caused low visibility and poor navigation. The blockage of the Suez Canal, which connects the Mediterranean to the Red Sea, is causing a huge maritime traffic jam, triggering other indirect consequences (e.g. variation on oil prices in the international market).
The SatCen RTDI (Research, Technology Development and Innovation) Unit has collected different images from free and open Sentinels data coming from optical and SAR sensors through the GEO-DAMP platform. GEO-DAMP facilitates the access and quick visualization of heterogeneous data sources (e.g. satellite and AIS data) allowing the users to integrate and monitor these sources directly from a web browser.
Images from Sentinel-1 and Sentinel-2 show how the ship, stuck diagonally, is blocking the whole canal width. The ship is easily visible in Sentinel-1 SAR image (left), due to its strong backscatter signal in contrast to the canal, and in real colour with a Sentinel-2 image (right), thanks to the cloud-free meteorological conditions at that time in the canal.