The Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI) is pleased to announce a new Sea Grant informational publication that discusses the locations where approximate amounts of oil went after the Deepwater Horizon spill. The publication Deepwater Horizon: Where did the oil go? summarizes what researchers have discovered about where the spilled oil traveled and what processes carried it along its path.
Researchers use numerical models to simulate oil spill scenarios and predict where oil will go, but the many factors that affect the oil’s path creates uncertainty in the predictions. Shitao Wang quantifies the uncertainty of ocean models to gauge the reliability of oil fate predictions.
When Deepwater Horizon oil approached coastal environments, it was unclear how river water entering the Gulf of Mexico would affect the oil’s transport and fate. Steve Dykstra uses drifters and ship-deployed sensors to study how freshwater plumes disperse in the coastal environment over different seafloor topography.