Navigation Links
New method successfully predicted how oil from Deepwater Horizon spill would spread
Date:9/2/2010

Prompted by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, a UC Santa Barbara scientist has come up with a new way of predicting how contaminants like oil will spread. He was able to forecast several days in advance that oil from that spill would wash ashore in particular parts of the Gulf of Mexico.

"We predicted where the oil was going to go," says Igor Mezic, a professor of mechanical engineering at UC Santa Barbara who studies fluid dynamics. "We were able to do 3-day predictions pretty accurately."

In a paper published online Sept. 2 in Science Express, Mezic, together with Sophie Loire, a postdoctoral fellow who works with Mezic, and colleagues at the software development company Aimdyn, Inc. in Santa Barbara and at NASA's Stennis Space Center in Mississippi, describe how they predicted the movement of oil spilled into the Gulf of Mexico after an explosion aboard the Deepwater Horizon rig on April 20.

In the following weeks, Mezic and his colleagues generated frequent forecasts of the movement of the spill and passed them on to those involved in the cleanup.

"We were on the phone with people, several days in advance, telling them where the oil was going to go," says Mezic, who began the work after watching coverage of the oil spill. "I looked at this problem on the TV and thought I could do something about it," he says. "I felt there could be a better set of theories to predict how oil will move."

Mezic and his colleagues successfully predicted where and when oil washed ashore in the Mississippi River Delta and later, on the white-sand beaches of Pensacola, Florida, and they forecast that the spill would then move east toward Panama City Beach. Their predictions were accurate to within a couple of miles of the actual extent of the spill later assessed by NOAA from aerial surveys.

It's not easy to predict how an oil slick will spread across the ocean, Mezic says, because of the large scale involved, and the constantly changing movement of water at the sea surface, driven largely by wind.

Mezic's new approach to the problem is based on computations that describe how slicks of oil tend to be stretched into filaments by motion at the sea surface. To produce predictions of oil movement after the Deepwater Horizon accident, the researchers incorporated forecasts of sea surface conditions from a U.S. Navy model.

Mezic says further refinements of this new methodology could be done in order to predict the spread of many other contaminants such as ash spewed out of an erupting volcano or warm air seeping into a climate-controlled building.

"It's pretty universal," Mezic says. "It could be applied to many different kinds of situations where a contaminant or heat is moved around by a liquid or gas."


'/>"/>

Contact: Anna Davison
adavison@engineering.ucsb.edu
805-893-4301
University of California - Santa Barbara
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. University at Buffalo symposium on in silico methods, high throughput screening
2. Cold Spring Harbor Protocols features chromosomal rearrangement, gene copy number methods
3. Half-a-loaf method can improve magnetic memories
4. Zinc finger nuclease, immunoprecipitation methods featured in Cold Spring Harbor Protocols
5. New methods, new math speed detection of drug-resistant malaria
6. Body of evidence: New fast, reliable method to detect gravesoil
7. California team to receive up to $122 million to develop method to produce fuels from sunlight
8. Mother Nature to provide an environmentally friendly method for reducing mosquitoes
9. BioDonostia evaluates the use of a food-related method for the diagnosis of hepatic steatosis
10. New biofuels processing method for mobile facilities
11. New retrieval method makes studying cancer proteins easier
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/22/2017)... 2017 With the biometrics market to ... four technologies that innovative and agile startups must ... in the changing competitive landscape: multifactor authentication (MFA), ... "Companies can no longer afford to ... Dimitrios Pavlakis , Industry Analyst at ABI ...
(Date:2/14/2017)... 2017  Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center today announced Julie ... executive officer (CEO). Freischlag joins the medical center on ... , M.D., who last year announced that he would ... after leading it since 2008.   As ... Forest Baptist,s academic health system, which includes Wake Forest ...
(Date:2/9/2017)... The biomass boiler market report by Transparency ... market globally in terms of revenue (US$ Mn) based ... for biomass boilers has been segmented on the basis ... The market based on feedstock type, has been segmented ... energy crops, urban residues, and others. On the basis ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:3/23/2017)... March 23, 2017  Northwest Biotherapeutics (OTCQB: NWBO) ... immune therapies for solid tumor cancers, today announced ... financing it announced last Friday, March 17, 2017. ... institutional investors securities totaling 28,843,692 shares, comprised of ... 10,000,000 shares of Class C Warrants pre-funded at ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... PARK, Calif., March 23, 2017  BioPharmX Corporation ... products for the dermatology market, today reported financial ... 31, 2017, and will provide an update on ... the year. "We are pleased to ... year for BioPharmX," said President Anja Krammer. "We ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... , March 23, 2017 NetworkNewsWire Editorial ... ... putting significant strain on health care systems, in terms of ... rises, so too does the development of innovative and efficient ... effects. Among the many types of cancer treatments, a growing ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... , March 23, 2017 In ... four equities in the Biotech industry: Sangamo Therapeutics Inc. ... Inc. (NYSE MKT: SYN), and Regulus Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: ... , 2017, Credit Suisse upgraded its rating on Pharmaceuticals/Biotechnology to "Overweight" from ... their free report at: ...
Breaking Biology Technology: