| Slow Down of the Gulf Stream during 1993–2016 - :20113 | Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR)
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Slow Down of the Gulf Stream during 1993–2016
  • Published Date:
    2019
  • Source:
    Scientific Reports, 9(1), 6672.
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Slow Down of the Gulf Stream during 1993–2016
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  • Description:
    An oil platform in the Mississippi Canyon 20 (MC-20) site was damaged by Hurricane Ivan in September 2004. In this study, we use medium- to high-resolution (10-30 m) optical remote sensing imagery to systematically assess oil spills near this site for the period between 2004 and 2016. Image analysis detects no surface oil in 2004, but similar to 40% of the cloud-free images in 2005 show oil slicks, and this number increases to similar to 70% in 2006-2011, and > 80% since 2012. For all cloud-free images from 2005 through 2016 (including those without oil slicks), delineated oil slicks show an average oil coverage of 14.9 km(2)/image, with an estimated oil discharge rate of 48 to similar to 1700 barrels/day, and a cumulative oil-contaminated area of 1900 km(2) around the MC-20 site. Additional analysis suggests that the detected oil slick distribution can be largely explained by surface currents, winds, and density fronts.

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