Oilspill

Ocean Observations

Florida Straits

Florida Straits

The Florida Strait will receive oil residue that escapes the Gulf of Mexico. The water masses present there have variable origins, but it is the western sector of the surface flow that is expected to be most impacted.



Click to view larger image

Lagrangian Group

Historical archive of data collected in the Gulf of Mexico using near surface drifters. Flow direction arrows are plotted every month. It is evident from this simple analysis that water in this area ends up throughout the Gulf of Mexico as well as in the energetic Loop Current and in the Gulf Stream Current system.


loop current
Click to view larger image

Ocean Currents

The speed of drifters are color coded with the fastest currents in black with speeds > 1 m/s (2 knots). The plot shows the Caribbean Current flowing into the Yucatan Current Loop Current Florida Current Gulf Stream. The Loop Current is the omega-shaped region of fastest flow in the Gulf of Mexico.


Nick Shay

Upper Ocean Dynamics
Nick Shay

Use of dropsondes launched from NOAA aircraft allow scientists to collect data that will allow them to study eddies and rings associated with the Loop Current.

DISCLAIMER

The 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.