Research

Oil Spill

On 20 April 2010, the Deepwater Horizon (DWH), an ultra-deepwater offshore oil drilling rig, exploded due to a blowout. On 22 April 2010, the DWH sank to the sea floor, leaving an open line to large oil well that caused the largest offshore oil spill in US history.

The University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences was tasked to provide an exploratory, baseline oceanic temperature survey to map oceanic structure between the Loop Current (LC), which has a surface current speed of 3 knots, and its surrounding eddy field including both the clockwise and counterclockwise rotating eddies. Such measurements provide the important data to correlate to surface images and data from satellite measurements as well as provide initial subsurface structural conditions for predictive ocean models.

The Upper Ocean Dynamics Laboratory deployed nearly 600 Airborne Expendable Bathythermographs (AXBT), Airborne Expendable Conductivity/Temperature/Depth (AXCTD), and Airborne Expendable Current Profilers (AXCP) from a NOAA P3-Orion aircraft for three months following the rig explosion. The different maps below correspond to each flight. Flight tracks and drop points overlay the geostrophic currents for that day

Data from the profilers are available below. To access data, please click any of the "zipped data" links to fill out the registration form and create a username and password. Then, login with the username and password that you created.

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Loop Current Data

 
100508H

08 May 2010

Flight Summary


100518H

18 May 2010

Flight Summary


100521H

21 May 2010

Flight Summary


100709H

28 May 2010

Flight Summary


100603H

03 June 2010

Flight Summary


100611H

11 June 2010

Flight Summary


100618H

18 June 2010

Flight Summary


100625H

25 June 2010

Flight Summary


100709H

09 July 2010

Flight Summary