Computer simulations of a fully 3D buoyant plume released from the bottom of the ocean interacting with surface currents. The simulation indicates that even after the source is shut off, it maintains coherence because it has locally modified the circulation.
UM Rosenstiel School’s group of coastal and shelf seas modeling prepares products of hydrodynamic properties and circulation relevant to the deepwater Horizon oil spill. The circulation model used here is the real time GoM-HYCOM, running at the Naval Research Lab at the Stennis Space Center since 2002 (Pat Hogan and Ole-Martin Smedstad). It provides forecasts of hydrodynamic variables throughout the water column.
The movie shows the oil time history in 3D (GIF images — open in any browser to view). This is an oil simulation using realistic currents from GOM-HYCOM. The color code is for oil droplet size. The plume sways in the currents and spurts plumes in different directions, e.g. towards the De Soto Canyon are clearly seen.
Animation by Matthieu Le Henaff.
Project: NSF RAPID to Paris, Srinivasan and Kourafalou
DISCLAIMERThe products presented on this and related UM Oil Spill Response web pages are only for research purposes and should only be used for research guidance, not operational decisions.