NTRS - NASA Technical Reports Server

Back to Results
Astronaut observations of the Persian (Arabian) Gulf during STS-45As a result of the 1991 Persian Gulf war, between mid-January and June 1991, the Persian Gulf was contaminated with an estimated 4 to 6 million barrels of crude oil, released directly into the Gulf from refinement facilities, transhipment terminals, and moored tankers along the coast of Kuwait, and precipitated from oil fire smoke plumes. To assess the environmental impact of the oil, an international team of marine scientists representing 14 nations was assembled under the auspices of the United Nations International Oceanic Commission and the Regional Organization for Protection of the Marine Environment to conduct detailed surveys of the Persian Gulf, the Strait of Hormuz, and the Gulf of Oman, including hydrographic, chemical, and biological measurements. To supplement the field surveys and to serve as an aid in data interpretation, astronauts aboard the Space Shuttle Atlantis photographed water features and coastal habitats in the Persian Gulf during mission STS-45 (24 March to 02 April 1992). The astronauts collected 111 hand-held, color photographs of the Gulf (72 70-mm photographs and 39 5-inch photographs) from an altitude of 296 km (160 n.mi.). The photographs reveal distributions in water turbidity associated with outflow from the Shatt-al-Arab and water circulation along the entire coast of Iran and the Strait of Hormuz, coastal wetlands and shallow-water habitats, and sticks appearing in the sunglint pattern, which appear to be oil.
Document ID
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
Ackleson, Steven G.
(Lockheed Engineering & Sciences Co. Houston, TX, United States)
Pitts, David E.
(NASA Johnson Space Center Houston, TX, United States)
Sullivan, Kathryn D.
(NOAA Washington, United States)
Reynolds, R. M.
(Brookhaven National Lab. Upton, NY, United States)
Date Acquired
August 16, 2013
Publication Date
December 1, 1992
Publication Information
Publication: Geocarto International
Volume: 7
Issue: 4
ISSN: 1010-6049
Subject Category
Earth Resources And Remote Sensing
Accession Number
Distribution Limits

Available Downloads

There are no available downloads for this record.
No Preview Available