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Oil spill response and follow up studies

Particle trajectories below the mixed layer - launched at the Deepwater Horizon location


Water particle trajectories 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 water particle trajectories.

We demonstrate, below tje mixed layer at ~100m depth, water particle trajectories launched at the spill site (released every 3 days from April 24 to June 2, end time June 9). This illustrates the dominant subsurface circulation and IS NOT AN OIL SPILL PREDICTION.

 

Water particle trajectories at ~100m

Particle trajectories below the mixed layer - launched at the Deepwater Horizon location

DESCRIPTION:

The figures illustrate that the subsurface flow is first oriented southward, before interacting with dominant dynamical feature from the Gulf of Mexico. Initial clusters of particles are spread to all directions and may extend far within the LC system,  even out of the Gulf, as well as to the West. Interactions with the West Florida shelf is noticed. Particles released in the recent period tend to align with the bathymetry.

It should be noted that the model assimilates satellite observations (surface fields), while data profiles that can constrain the deeper model circulation are extremely limited. Therefore, the predicted deep circulation can exhibit additional model uncertainties.


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


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