Researchers optically tracked 600 biodegradable bamboo plates floating in the Gulf of Mexico for 2.5 hours to better understand how small-scale currents (scales of minutes and meters) affect surface dispersion.
Scientist John Taylor with the University of Cambridge analyzed simulations of small-scale fronts (<10 kilometers across) to better understand how they influence buoyant material transport across the ocean.
Predicting where oil will go can be one of the most challenging aspects of marine oil spill response.
Researchers described field methods and observations using the Ship-Tethered Aerostat Remote Sensing System (STARSS) to better understand how buoyant material moves and disperses on the ocean’s surface.
Scientists assessed the dynamics of heat and momentum exchange between the ocean and atmosphere to better understand how these factors influence Gulf of Mexico circulation.
Scientist and author M. Mitchell Waldrop accompanied researchers, funded by the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative, as they conducted the largest experimental simulation to-date of the Deepwater Horizon oil intrusion.
Scientists developed a new approach to improve near-surface (15 meters depth) ocean circulation estimations derived from drogued and undrogued drifters (drogues extend below the surface, providing stability) used in the NOAA Global Drifter Program.
Many factors affect how the ocean moves, and it is especially difficult to know exactly how it will behave in a specific area, as was evident with challenges in predicting oil transport during Deepwater Horizon.
Our knowledge about ocean transport comes primarily from ocean circulation models that use field observations and theoretical motion equations to simulate ocean dynamics.
Scientists assessed an economical 2D model simulation of deep-ocean oil plume dynamics against 3D model results using conditions similar to Deepwater Horizon to better understand point-source buoyant convection, which affects the oil’s spreading rate and environmental impact.