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Proceedings Paper

Combining numerical ocean circulation models with satellite observations in a trajectory forecast system: a rapid response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill
Author(s): Yonggang Liu; Robert H. Weisberg; Chuanmin Hu; Lianyuan Zheng
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Paper Abstract

The Deepwater Horizon oil spill presented an unprecedented threat to the Gulf of Mexico coastline and living marine resources, and possibly to that of the southeastern USA. Needed for mitigation efforts and to guide scientific investigations was a system for tracking the oil, both at the surface and at depth. We report on such system, implemented immediately upon spill onset, by marshaling numerical model and satellite remote sensing resources available from existing coastal ocean observing activities. Surface oil locations inferred from satellite imagery were used to initialize the positions of the virtual particles in an ensemble of trajectory models, and the particles were tracked using forecast surface currents, with new particles added to simulate the continual release of oil from the well. Three dimensional subsurface tracking were also performed from the well site location at several different depths. Timely trajectory forecasts were used to plan scientific surveys and other spill response activities.

Paper Details

Date Published: 4 May 2011
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 8030, Ocean Sensing and Monitoring III, 80300K (4 May 2011); doi: 10.1117/12.887983
Show Author Affiliations
Yonggang Liu, Univ. of South Florida (United States)
Robert H. Weisberg, Univ. of South Florida (United States)
Chuanmin Hu, Univ. of South Florida (United States)
Lianyuan Zheng, Univ. of South Florida (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8030:
Ocean Sensing and Monitoring III
Weilin W. Hou; Robert Arnone, Editor(s)

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