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Remote sensing estimation of surface oil volume during the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil blowout in the Gulf of Mexico: scaling up AVIRIS observations with MODIS measurements

Jamie Holmes (Abt Associates); Chuanmin Hu, Lian Feng and Frank Muller-Karger (University of South Florida); Gregg A. Swayze (U.S. Geological Survey); Ira Leifer and Christopher Melton (Bubbleology Research International); Oscar Garcia (Water Mapping LLC); Ian MacDonald (Florida State University); Mark Hess (Ocean Imaging Group); George Graettinger (NOAA National Ocean Service); Rebecca Green (Bureau of Ocean Energy Management)

Report

September 23, 2019

The Deepwater Horizon oil blowout in the Gulf of Mexico led to the largest offshore oil spill in U.S. history. Quantifying the actual oil volume of large oil slicks on the ocean surface has proven to be a challenge to researchers and responders alike, but this challenge must be addressed to assess and understand impacts on marine and coastal resources, and to prepare for future spills. Abt’s Jamie Holmes and his co-authors estimated surface oil volume using coarse-resolution optical remote sensing observations. The article won a best paper award from the Journal.