I was on Msn.com and noticed that NASA took a recent (May 17, 2010) picture of the oil slick:
I used the NASA image to estimate the quantity of oil on the surface in the gulf as of May 17, 2010
And using the Google maps for reference to correctly measure the distance for conversion. I hope I have done it right, and used the correct
So this comes out to basically 3,580 square miles, I'm not sure if this is right or what the media is saying, anyone who can estimate the average the
size of the spill:
Estimating volume of the spill
By observing the thickness of the film of oil and its appearance on the surface of the water, it is possible to estimate the quantity of oil spilled.
If the surface area of the spill is also known, the total volume of the oil can be calculated.
Film thickness Quantity spread
Appearance in mm gal/sq mi L/ha
Barely visible 0.0000015 0.0000380 25 0.370
Silvery sheen 0.0000030 0.0000760 50 0.730
First trace of color 0.0000060 0.0001500 100 1.500
Bright bands of color 0.0000120 0.0003000 200 2.900
Colors begin to dull 0.0000400 0.0010000 666 9.700
Colors are much darker 0.0000800 0.0020000 1332 19.500
If we estimate the spill to be dull colors (666 gallons/sq mile) the estimated size of the spill is 2.4 million gallons
. And this is just what
we see on the surface. We do not know what is going on underneath!!
**I used Dull gray because MSN is reporting it as dull gray:
The oil slick appears as a dull gray on the water's surface and stretches south from the Mississippi Delta with what looks like a tail.
Just judging by the size of the slick — about 3,500 square miles — and the three weeks of the spill, 210,000 "looks about right as far as the
slick goes," Fischbeck said.
Looks like my calculation of 3580 square miles was dead on!!, therefore I am sticking with my current value of 2.4 million
[edit on 18-5-2010 by THE_PROFESSIONAL]