Monitoring the Gulf Coast Oil Spill - UPDATED 05/05/2010

Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill

On April 20, 2010, an explosion occurred on the semi-submersible offshore drilling rig Deepwater Horizon in the Gulf of Mexico, killing 11 rig workers and injuring 17 others. On April 24, it was found that the wellhead was damaged and was leaking oil into the Gulf. This significant spill poses a serious threat to wildlife, affecting as many as 400 species along the coastal areas of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida.
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ource: Google

Mapping the Gulf oil spill in Google Earth

Two weeks ago, there was a fatal explosion on the offshore oil rig Deepwater Horizon in the Gulf of Mexico. The rig sank shortly afterwards, and since then the well has been leaking crude oil into the Gulf, spreading an oil slick towards the U.S. Gulf Coast. This spill is pouring as many as 5,000 barrels (210,000 gallons) of oil a day into the Gulf and poses a serious threat to coastal industries, sensitive habitats and wildlife, including numerous species along the coastal areas of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida

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ource: Google

SpecTIR announces deployment of the ProSpecTIR VNIR/SWIR sensor to the Gulf of Mexico

SpecTIR is mobilizing a ProSpecTIR VNIR/SWIR hyperspectral sensor to the Gulf of Mexico to support environmental damage assessments, monitor changes to wetlands health, and to assist in the recovery efforts associated with the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. SpecTIR is seeking to support its multiple government and commercial clients in their request for hyperspectral imagery of the coastal areas affected by the oil slick which is moving onshore into the highly sensitive wetlands of the gulf coast region. Hyperspectral imagery data can be used to assess the location of the oil on the fragile wetland vegetation. Images collected over time can be used to detect changes to the wetlands vegetation as a measure of the damage.

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ource: Directions Magazine

ESA’s Envisat monitors oil spill

The ESA Envisat images capture the oil that is spilling into the Gulf of Mexico after a drilling rig exploded and sank off the coasts of Louisiana and Mississippi, USA, on 22 April.

In the black-and-white radar image the oil spill is visible as a dark grey whirl in the bottom right, while in the optical image it is seen as a white whirl. The Mississippi Delta is at top left, and the Delta National Wildlife Refuge extends out into the Gulf.
Officials report that about 1000 barrels of oil a day is escaping from a damaged oil well located 1.5 km under the drilling rig. By yesterday afternoon, the spill was covering an area some 77 km long and 63 km wide.

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Source: ESA  

NASA: Oil Leak from Damaged Well in Gulf of Mexico

An estimated 42,000 gallons of oil per day were leaking from an oil well in the Gulf of Mexico in late April, following an explosion at an offshore drilling rig on April 20, 2010. The rig eventually capsized and sank.

The images of the affected area were captured on April 25 by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite and the Advanced Land Imager on NASA’s Earth Observing-1 (EO-1) satellite.

In one image, the Mississippi Delta is at image center, and the oil slick is a silvery swirl to the right. The oil slick may be particularly obvious because it is occurring in the sunglint area, where the mirror-like reflection of the Sun off the water gives the Gulf of Mexico a washed-out look. The close-up view shows waves on the water surface as well as ships, presumably involved in the clean up and control activities.

The initial explosion killed eleven people and injured several others, and a fire burned at the location for more than a day until the damaged oil rig sank. An emergency response effort is underway to stop the flow of oil and contain the existing slick before it reaches wildlife refuges and beaches in Louisiana and Mississippi.

The slick may contain dispersant or other chemicals that emergency responders are using to control the spread of the oil, and it is unknown how much of the 700,000 gallons of fuel that were on the oil rig burned in the fire and how much may have spilled into the water when the platform sank.

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Source: NASA


DLR/ZKI: Oil spill following the sinking of the drilling rig Deepwater Horizon "in the Gulf of Mexico

On 21 April 2010 there was a catastrophic explosion on the rig Deepwater Horizon "in the Gulf of Mexico, 80 km off the coast of the U.S. state of Louisiana. The rig caught fire immediately and to a major fire due to its 11 workers were missing and were probably killed. The day after the explosion sank the rig and is probably about 400 m northwest of the oil source on the 1500 m deep sea floor. Every day about 160,000 liters of crude oil to flow from two openings of the oil well into the sea and threaten the marine ecosystem in the Gulf of Mexico and the sensitive coastal areas of Louisiana.

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Source: DLR