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ROFFS Oceanographic Analysis Oil Update 24 May 2010

May 24th, 2010 No comments

ROFFS Oceanographic Analysis Oil Update 24 May 2010

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ROFFS Oceanographic Analysis Oil Update 22 May 2010

May 24th, 2010 No comments
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Glider plans and their status tonight

May 24th, 2010 No comments

Today’s subsurface glider update.  Mote’s team is heading south and the glider they are transporting should be launched tomorrow.  This glider will patrol the southern waters of Florida.  We expect USM and USF gliders to join the fray soon.  The UDel and second Rutgers glider will be shipped to the Gulf by Wednesday.  Horizon Marine is busy preparing their deepwater glider.  The I-Robot fleet will be launching their Sea Gliders soon, which will fill in critical information in the offshore deep waters.  This glider community effort has many partners and the subsurface picture should become detailed within days.  For the assets in the field we will try to have them fly by each other so as to provide an intercalibration.

The two gliders in the Gulf, this evening, are doing well.  Bass is to the North and heading to the south.  Bass is encountering depth averaged current offshore.  These depth-averaged currents contrast the surface currents provided by HyCOM.  The next steps will be compared to the depth-averaged currents for the glider and model.   The Rutgers glider is encountering weak southerly currents as it heading offshore.

BASS shows higher CDOM at depth, however the surface to bottom gradient varies by a less then a factor of two.  There is a clear subsurface chlorophyll maximum, and in contrast to the CDOM, the particle loads (as indicated by the optical backscatter) appear to be enhanced in the surface waters.  The pycnocline is around 60 meters and is meters thick.

For the Rutgers glider, particle-CDOM-phytoplankton loads are highest in bottom waters.  The pyconcline is tight in the two layer system, and the density transition is only ~1-2 meters thick.  So we expect that pyconcline to spread as the glider heads offshore to mimic BASS.

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Daily News: Paul Rademacher releases Google Earth photos comparing Gulf of Mexico oil spill to major cities

May 24th, 2010 No comments

The black overlay represents the extent of the 2,500-square-mile Gulf of Mexico oil spill, compared to the size of Manhattan.

No use crying over spilled oil – or is there?

About 200,000 gallons of crude oil are gushing into the Gulf of Mexico a day, but how bad is the Louisiana spill really?

Shocking photos courtesy of Google Earth employee Paul Rademacher have been released, comparing the size of the spill to major cities.

Using a dark overlay, Rademacher quantifies the 2,500-square-mile spill against the size of Manhattan, San Francisco and Paris. There’s even an option to compare the spill to your own city. Click here to compare the spill to the size of your city.

Rademacher’s pictures give a dramatic look at just how devastating the April 20 spill has been and continues to be.

British Petroleum has tried to plug the well, but have encountered snags that have delayed the process. The spill, which is considered one of the biggest in history, now stretches across 150 miles from Alabama to Louisana.

BY Lia Eustachewich
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
Monday, May 24th 2010, 5:10 PM

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Glider Bass Deployed – Morning Surface Analysis

May 24th, 2010 No comments

Figure 1 is the morning surface analysis.  SST image is 1 day composite from UDel.  HyCOM model looks very similar.  Large Loop Current eddy looks to be almost fully separated, with cold shelf water circulating around the eastern and southern sides.  Magenta arrows show circulation.  That large streamer of warm water from the Loop Current on the northern side is well up onto the Florida shelf.  White line shows the shelf break location. Horizon Marine drifter in this filament shows direction of flow. Glider Bass is approaching the filament separation point from offshore, Glider RU21 is approaching from the shelf side.  They will meet up in the middle to better define this interaction zone. Red oval near bottom is second location where Loop Current waters are moving onto the west Florida shelf.  Horizon Marine drifters illustrate much of the circulation on the northern side of the Loop Current, with a small counterclockwise eddy on the northwest side.  Glider current vectors (green) show the inner shelf currents with RU21 to the south, and the Bass currents to the southwest.

Figure 2 is the HyCOM surface currents (black arrows) and HyCOM surface temperature.  Loop Current/Eddy is well defined.  The warm filament on the northeast side is less defined than in the SST above.  The flow onto the west Florida shelf in the red oval is shown in this forecast.  The small counterclockwise eddy on the northwest side in the surface analysis looks more like a sheer zone between to opposite flowing currents.

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