Sargassum detection


Direction de l’Environnement, de l’Aménagement et du Logement (DEAL) de Guadeloupe, French Ministry of Environment, and Nova Blue Environment


The Caribbean Sea


Since 2011, huge sargassum mass strandings (Sargassum fluitans and Sargassum natans) have occurred in the wider Caribbean region affecting:

  • Marine environnment
  • Human health
  • Tourism
  • Fishing & aquaculture



  • Reduce the devastating effects of sargassum on local economies
  • Prepare and support timely sargassum collection operations


CLS’s solution

  • Sargassum detection based on multi-satellite data sources using radar and optical instruments for High Resolution products (250m resolution down to 20m close to shore)
  • Drift forecasting and grounding estimation of sargassum provided through a proprietary drift model.


More than 10 alert bulletins were issued thanks to the Mobidrift model

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    Sargassum seaweed ahead


    CLS collaborated with Nova Blue Environment to detect sargassum and predict landings in Guadeloupe and Martinique.


    Brown Sargassum seaweed has been amassing on the Caribbean and South American shoreline. As it decomposes, it emits hydrogen sulphide gas

    (harmful to humans in high doses) and a foul smell. This impacts the local economy (fishing and tourism) and has a devastating impact on wildlife.


    CLS was tasked with implementing an operational satellite surveillance system based on multi-satellite detection using radar and optical instruments, with a drift model.


    Combining satellite images with the CLS drift model MOBIDRIFT, very large Sargassum rafts are located offshore near Guadeloupe and Martinique; their drift is forecasted and the time and location of landing is estimated.

    The aim being to organize a rapid collection to avoid inconvenience and damage to the local community and environment.

    Sargassum detected on MODIS-Aqua at 250m resolution

    Drift simulation of Sargassum through a unique CLS drift model “MOBIDRIFT”. MOBIDRIFT is the CLS drift model which is able to predict the drift of an object at the surface of the ocean under the effect of  wind and surface currents