Animation - Potential Dispersal Pathway of the Oil Spill

This animation, created by the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and its collaborators, depicts where the existing oil plume could travel.  The animation assumes that oil will continue to flow into the Gulf of Mexico until the 20th of June, 2010.

Research for the data behind this potential scenario was supported by the National Science Foundation, NCAR's sponsor.

NCAR's web site provides the following details regarding the animation:

This animation shows one scenario of how oil released at the location of the Deepwater Horizon disaster on April 20 in the Gulf of Mexico may move in the upper 65 feet of the ocean. This is not a forecast, but rather, it illustrates a likely dispersal pathway of the oil for roughly four months following the spill. 

It assumes oil spilling continuously from April 20 to June 20. The colors represent a dilution factor ranging from red (most concentrated) to beige (most diluted).  The dilution factor does not attempt to estimate the actual barrels of oil at any spot; rather, it depicts how much of the total oil from the source that will be carried elsewhere by ocean currents. For example, areas showing a dilution factor of 0.01 would have one-hundredth the concentration of oil present at the spill site.

The animation is based on a computer model simulation, using a virtual dye, that assumes weather and current conditions similar to those that occur in a typical year. It is one of a set of six scenarios released today [June 3, 2010] that simulate possible pathways the oil might take under a variety of oceanic conditions.

Each of the six scenarios shows the same overall movement of oil through the Gulf to the Atlantic and up the East Coast. However, the timing and fine-scale details differ, depending on the details of the ocean currents in the Gulf. (Visualization by Tim Scheitlin and Mary Haley, NCAR; based on model simulations.)

Media Credits

Animation by National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and its collaborators.  Online, courtesy NCAR.


To cite this story (For MLA citation guidance see easybib or OWL ):

"Animation - Potential Dispersal Pathway of the Oil Spill" AwesomeStories.com. Oct 07, 2013. Jun 01, 2020.
Awesome Stories Silver or Gold Membership Required
Awesome Stories Silver or Gold Membership Required
Show tooltips