Project Details

3-D Model Forecast of the Vertical and Horizontal Distributions of Oil Plumes Arising From the Deepwater Horizon Spill

Sponsor:  National Science Foundation

National Science Foundation


University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill: John Bane, Sara Haines
University of North Carolina Coastal Studies Institute: Mike Muglia

Funding Period

June 2010 – November 2010


Since the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil drilling rig on April 20, 2010, a large amount of oil has spilled in the Gulf of Mexico, posing unprecedented threat to the Gulf coasts, as well as to the southeast coast of the United States. While satellite remote sensing, aircraft flights, and surfaces drifters are providing valuable information on the oil surface trajectories since the accident, little is known about how the spill is distributed at depths, and to what extent they have been transported by the subsurface currents. We seek to fill the urgent need to implement a three-dimensional oil spill tracking and prediction system for both the Gulf of Mexico and the South Atlantic Bight.