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Oil spill response and follow up studies

Particle trajectories: scenarios of alternative spill sites


Water particle trajectories (not oil particles) are simulated using the state-of-the-art Connectivity Modeling System (CMS) developed at the University of Miami (Dr. Claire Paris; cparis@rsmas.miami.edu). Coupling of the CMS to the real-time GoM-HYCOM simulation provides probabilistic forecast of particle trajectories.

We demonstrate how water particles would move if launched on April 21, but at locations in the direct path of the Loop Current (circle is initial "spill" position).

This illustrates scenarios based on the dominant circulation and IS NOT AN OIL SPILL PREDICTION.

 

scenarios of pathways from a hypothetical oil spill within the Loop Current

Particle trajectories: scenarios of alternative spill sites

DESCRIPTION:

These figures illustrate two example of oil spill after April 21, but for sites considered for the expansion of the drilling zone in the Gulf of Mexico. The first site is located in Area 181 South, on the path of the Loop Current; had the accident happened there, oil patches would have quickly been transported to South Florida and the Atlantic Ocean. The second site is located on the West Florida shelf break, with water depth comparable as the Deepwater Horizon platform; particles released from there may disperse over the West Florida shelf, or be transported by the current to South Florida and the Keys. These two examples stress how the Gulf dynamics may influence the oil spill expansion.

 


CONTACT:
Dr. Villy Kourafalou — vkourafalou@rsmas.miami.edu
Dr. Matthieu Le Henaff — mlehenaff@rsmas.miami.edu


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