Catastrophic oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in April–May 2010
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The evolution of oil pollution in the Gulf of Mexico from April 20 to May 28, 2010, which resulted from the accident on the BP Deepwater Horizon oil platform that occurred on April 20, 2010, is reviewed. The development of the situation was traced on the basis of a joint analysis of optical and radar images (RIs), which proved to be very effective since the optical images made it possible to exclude the areas of calm on the RIs from consideration, and the RIs gave more complete information about dimensions of the areas covered with oil films indiscernible on optical images. It is shown that the mesoscale water dynamics is of prime importance in oil pollution transport in the gulf; therefore, almost all model predictions of a giant oil spill drift were not justified.
Keywordsoil pollution operational monitoring radar remote sensing optical images mesoscale circulation Gulf of Mexico
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