NASA image reveals new oil trail hundreds of kilometers long in the Gulf

Jeremy Hance
mongabay.com
May 19, 2010



A new NASA image of the Gulf oil spill shows a trail of oil extending hundreds of kilometers south and then southeast from the spill. At points this new oil trail is at least twenty kilometers wide. Media groups are saying the new arm may be additional proof that oil has been caught up in the Loop Current, which would carry the pollution to Florida coastlines and possibly even the East coast.

Yesterday it was reported that tar balls—small blobs of oil—were washing up on the Florida coast, however researchers are now saying that after testing those tar balls were not from the BP oil spill.

Today the NOAA said that a "small amount" of oil had entered the loop, and the European Space Agency has said that their satellite images also show that the oil has entered the current.

The Gulf oil spill began on April 20th when the BP Deepwater Horizon rig exploded killing eleven and releasing oil from over a mile below the surface. While BP and the government claim the oil has been spilling at a rate of 5,000 barrels a day (210,000 gallons a day), recent video has caused some researchers to say the rate of oil releasing into the Gulf could be ten times that much.

NASA captured the image with satellite, revealing the unknown oil trail by waiting for ocean waves to blur sunlight which allows the oil sheen to standout.




The Gulf oil spill with long trail of oil spreading south-southeast. Image courtesy of NASA.







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CITATION:
Jeremy Hance
mongabay.com (May 19, 2010).

NASA image reveals new oil trail hundreds of kilometers long in the Gulf .

http://news.mongabay.com/2010/0519-hance_NASA_oil.html