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Tracking and predicting the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico

posted Nov 11, 2010, 12:31 PM by Cesar Harada
posted Jun 1, 2010 12:33 PM by Cesar Harada   [ updated Jun 1, 2010 2:00 PM ]

In a joint effort of the Ocean Circulation Group and the Optical Oceanography Laboratory at College of Marine Science, University of South Florida to track and predict the Deepwater Horizon (Macondo Well) oil spill spreading, surface drifter trajectories are simulated based on the surface ocean currents output from five numerical models, the West Florida Shelf ROMS Hindcast/Forecast System, the Global HYCOM + NCODA Analysis, the Navy Gulf of Mexico HYCOM Nowcast/Forecast System, the SABGOM Nowcast/Forecast System, and theRTOFS (Atlantic) hindcast/forecast system. The latest satellite imageries of oil slick are also used to initialize the drifter locations so that the simulation is as getting close to the real situation as possible. A series of experiments have been implemented and the results are listed as follows (with the most recent results listed on top).It must be recognized that all forecast models have errors that grow with time for a variety of reasons. So, it is important to consider ensemble analyses from several different models.