Archive for May, 2010

The Deepwater Horizon oil spill trajectory ensemble forecast from different numerical models

May 31, 2010
Ocean Circulation Group

USF College of Marine Science

The Deepwater Horizon oil spill trajectory ensemble forecast from different numerical models

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This is a joint effort of the Ocean Circulation Group and the Optical Oceanography Laboratory at College of Marine Science, University of South Florida to track/predict the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico using simulated drifters/particles. Drifter trajectories were calculated based on the surface currents from five different numerical ocean circulation models: the West Florida Shelf ROMS hindcast/forecast system from University of South Florida, the Gulf of Mexico HYCOM nowcast/forecast system from Naval Research Laboratory, the SABGOM nowcast/forecast system from North Carolina State University, the Global HYCOM + NCODA Analysis from the HYCOM Consortium, and the RTOFS (Atlantic) hindcast/forecast system from NOAA Emvironmental Modeling Center. Only four model results are shown here. Individual oil trajectory models can be accessed at http://ocgweb.marine.usf.edu. Different models are updated at different time, and their temporal and spatial resolutions also vary. More specific information may be available from the models’ original wesites. It must be recognized that all forecast models have errors that grow with time for a variety of reasons. This is one reason why it is important to consider comparative analyses from several different models.

Virtual particles were released from the sunken rig site every three hours, assuming continuous oil spill from the well. The initial locations of the drifters were inferred from the latest satellite remotely sensed oil slick patches. Macondo well is designated by the red circle. The particles (difters) are shown as black dots, and their trajectries in magenta. Sea surface temperature (color contours, units in deg C) was superimposed with the surface current vectors to indicate the surface ocean circulation. The velocity data were subsampled every the third grid points in both east and north directions for better visulization. Questions or comments, please contact Prof. Robert H. Weisberg or Dr. Yonggang Liu.

An archive of previous nowcast/forecast results can be seen from http://ocg6.marine.usf.edu/~liu/oil.html.

Disclaimer:

The nowcast/forecast system and other analyses/data are research products under development. No warranty is made, expressed or implied, regarding accuracy, or regarding the suitability for any particular application. All rights reserved University of South Florida. Copyright University of South Florida 05/06/2010.

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WFSFCS hindcast and forecast surface trajectories for Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill using OI Wind

May 31, 2010
Ocean Circulation Group

USF College of Marine Science

WFSFCS hindcast and forecast surface trajectories for Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill

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In response to the 4/20/10 explosion at the Macondo well we implemented a hindcast of oil spill trajectories from 5/25/10 to the present time plus a forecast, also updated daily. These are produced by tracking simulated, near surface particles using the model derived velocity fields in time and space with new particles released every three hours to simulate a continual release of oil. The initial locations of drifters are based on satellite remotely sensed oil slick patches which is provided by Dr. Chunming Hu from USF. The black dots are the particle locations and the magenta dots are the patricle paths. The arrows are the wind vectors. The grey lines are the depth contours. Any comments or questions please contact with Drs. Weisberg or Zheng .

DISCLAIMER:

The nowcast/forecast system and other analyses/data are research products under development. No warranty is made, expressed or implied, regarding accuracy, or regarding the suitability for any particular application. All rights reserved University of South Florida. Copyright University of South Florida (5/7/2010).

Spaceflight Now | Breaking News | Satellites key to predicting Gulf oil spill's next move

May 31, 2010

Satellites key to predicting Gulf oil spill’s next move
BY STEPHEN CLARK
SPACEFLIGHT NOW

Posted: April 30, 2010

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The oil slick in the Gulf of Mexico has caught the eyes of orbiting satellites, which have collected wide-angle and high-resolution snapshots of the growing catastrophe for analysis by emergency responders.


The MODIS instrument on NASA’s Terra satellite captured this image on April 29. Credit: NASA/Earth Observatory/Jesse Allen

 

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the government agency leading the scientific response the oil spill, is gathering satellite data from U.S., European, Canadian and Japanese satellites to pinpoint the oil’s precise location, boundaries and movement.

The combination of optical and radar imagery gives scientists and emergency crews precise “shapefiles” that map the dimensions of the enlarging oil slick, which covered nearly 5,000 square miles as of Friday morning.

The shapefiles are plugged into advanced computer models to predict where the oil residue will travel based on winds and ocean currents, according to NOAA.

The models forecast the location of the oil one, two and three days later.

NASA’s Terra and Aqua satellites, Canada’s Radarsat spacecraft, the Japanese Advanced Land Observation Satellite, Germany’s TerraSAR-X radar observer and the French Spot remote sensing platforms have all provided data for the shapefiles, NOAA officials said.


A radar on the Envisat satellite took this picture of the oil spill at night on April 28. Credit: ESA

 

The European Space Agency’s Envisat spacecraft has also turned its camera and radar instrument toward the Gulf Coast.

Satellite imagery is also being used to distinguish between normal marine pollution and the damaging effects directly related to the spill, according to NOAA.

An oil drilling rig off the coast of Louisiana exploded April 20 and sank two days later, sending a stream of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico. Officials estimate about 210,000 gallons of oil continue leaking from the ocean floor each day.

Parts of the oil slick have already reached the Louisiana coast, and shorelines in Mississippi, Alabama and Florida are at risk over the next few days.

The international fleet of satellites will continue to provide imagery immediately to NOAA and U.S. authorities as the oil spill spreads across a wider swath of the Gulf.

BP Oil Spill Disaster Live on USTREAM: Live recording of underwater BP oil rig which sank in Gulf of Mexico one of humankind's largest man made environmen…

May 29, 2010

Ustream.tv link
Top Kill Mission Faillure to stop Gulf Oil Leak

Watch recorded live session on ustream.tv

Oil Slick in the Gulf of Mexico : Natural Hazards

May 28, 2010

On May 25, 2010, the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico was perfectly positioned in the sunglint part of a photo-like image from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite.

In the sunglint region—where the mirror-like reflection of the Sun gets blurred into a wide, bright strip—any differences in the texture of the water surface are enhanced. Oil smoothes the water, making it a better “mirror.” Oil-covered waters are very bright in this image, but, depending on the viewing conditions (time of day, satellite viewing angle, slick location), oil-covered water may look darker rather than brighter.

The slick appears large and sprawling, reaching out in numerous ribbons toward the tip of the Mississippi River Delta. Oil is visible in the marshes of Barataria Bay and barrier islands to the southwest. Although most of the oil is located near and to the west and northwest of the damaged well, one streamer of oil continues to stretch toward the southeast.

The relative brightness of the oil from place to place is not necessarily an indication of the amount of oil. Any oil located in the precise spot where the Sun’s reflection would appear if the surface of the Gulf were perfectly smooth and calm is going to look very bright in these images. The cause of the dark patch of water in the middle of the slick just west of the well is not known, but it may indicate the use of skimmers, dispersants, or booms.

NASA image courtesy the MODIS Rapid Response Team. Caption by Rebecca Lindsey.

Instrument:
Aqua – MODIS

Live Gulf of Mexico Cam

May 26, 2010

New Simulcast live feed BP Gulf of Mexico Environmental Disaster

http://ustre.am/idWF

480Kbps iPhone 3G compatible with Wi-Fi access

Gulf of Mexico Today

May 25, 2010

Original images at 

http://rapidfire.sci.gsfc.nasa.gov/realtime/2010145/

This image was from NASA  AQUA/MODIS Rapid Response System 250 meter resolution which I edited in photoshop for size.

From VRML to X3D welcome to the 21st Century

May 25, 2010

Well it Looks Like I can now update original VRML worlds created in the 20th century using X3D-Edit software.

Here is a screen shot of the new software I just installed a few minutes ago and already updated all the components with an import of VRML 97 code of VRML Maui designed at MHPCC in 1996.

BBC News – Oil leaks from tanker collision off Singapore

May 25, 2010

Emergency teams are working to contain a crude oil spill after two ships – a tanker and a bulk carrier – collided in waters off Singapore.

An estimated 2,000 tonnes of crude oil are leaking into the sea.

60 Minutes, 05.16.10 – 60 Minutes – CBS News

May 25, 2010
http://cnettv.cnet.com/av/video/cbsnews/atlantis2/player-dest.swf

CBS 60 Minutes interviewed Mike Williams chief electronics technician aboard Deepwater Horizon in Gulf of Mexico
Four weeks before the explosion, a blowout preventer was damaged in an accident. The blowout preventer is vital piece of protection equipment to seal the well shut in the event of a blowout, its the crews only hope. Large chunks of rubber part of the seal called the annular broke off the “BOP”, the supervisor of the rig said its no big deal.

Please watch the video to grasp what truly happened and watch experts analyze how dangerous the rush to move forward with operations pushed by BP led to the cataclysmic disaster that is dumping the equivalent to an Exxon Valdez every 4 to 7 days into the Gulf of Mexico
To make matters worse learn about The Atlantis Offshore oil platform which may eclipse this disaster in the future.