posted on Jun, 15 2010 @ 07:04 AM
Breaking: NOAA scientists say “Oil plume located off Florida’s southwest coast and heading toward the Tortugas” in the Florida Keys
NOAA forecast: Oil Boundary 50 miles from Florida Keys by June 15
Using these sophisticated tools, the team decided that the most likely pathway for oil to reach the Florida Keys was for it to be pulled into a
counterclockwise rotating frontal eddy in the northeast corner of the Loop Current, and then south along the eastern frontal zone of the Loop Current
to the Dry Tortugas. …
As they traveled into the eddy field they saw areas of sheen, but no tar balls.
Changing course to the south, however they found an area of strong flow convergence within a southward flowing jet that resulted from flow being
pulled into the eddy. Knowing that this was just the type of oceanographic feature that would concentrate any floating material, including oil, they
followed it. At about the same time a U.S. Coast Guard flight that had been sent to visually survey the area spotted what they thought could be an oil
slick in the area and contacted the scientists aboard the Walton Smith to have the ship get a closer look at the slick.
“As we approached, we found an extensive oil slick that stretched about 20 nm (20 miles) along the southward flowing jet which merged with the
northern front of the Loop Current. …
The combination of models and satellite images, along with our shipboard observations and ROFFS daily analysis had helped us to identify and study
this previously unidentified oil plume located off Florida’s southwest coast and heading toward the Tortugas.”
[edit on 15/6/10 by cosmicpixie]