Ocean Circulation Lab
USF College of Marine Science

The Deepwater Horizon oil spill trajectory hindcast/forecast based on Global HYCOM

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This is a joint effort of the Ocean Circulation Group and the Optical Oceanography Laboratory at College of Marine Science, University of South Florida to track/predict the Deepwater Horizon (Macondo well, designated by the red circle) oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico using simulated drifters/particles. Drifter trajectories were calculated based on the daily surface currents from the HYCOM + NCODA Global Analysis (data assimilative numerical ocean model hindcast & forecast). Virtual particles were released from the sunken rig site every three hours since 05/04/2010 18:00 UTC, assuming continuous oil spill from the well. The initial locations of the drifters were taken from satellite remotely sensed oil slick at that time. The particles (difters) are shown as black dots, and their trajectries in magenta. Sea surface temperature (color contours, units in deg C) was superimposed with the surface current vectors to indicate the surface ocean circulation. The velocity data were subsampled every the third grid points in both east and north directions for better visulization.

Reminder: This page will be updated daily, and the oil spill tracking/prediction may be updated several times a day during the emergency period. Please refresh your web browser each time to make sure what you see are the latest updates.


The nowcast/forecast system and other analyses/data are research products under development. No warranty is made, expressed or implied, regarding accuracy, or regarding the suitability for any particular application. All rights reserved University of South Florida. Copyright University of South Florida 05/06/2010.

Questions or comments? Please send email to Dr. Robert H. Weisberg or Dr. Yonggang Liu. Visit Dr. Yonggang Liu's research page.

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