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dc.contributor.authorMacDonald, Ian R.  Concept link
dc.contributor.authorGarcia-Pineda, Oscar  Concept link
dc.contributor.authorBeet, Andrew R.  Concept link
dc.contributor.authorDaneshgar Asl, Samira  Concept link
dc.contributor.authorFeng, Lian  Concept link
dc.contributor.authorGraettinger, George D.  Concept link
dc.contributor.authorFrench-McCay, Deborah P.  Concept link
dc.contributor.authorHolmes, James  Concept link
dc.contributor.authorHu, Chuanmin  Concept link
dc.contributor.authorHuffer, Fred W.  Concept link
dc.contributor.authorLeifer, Ira  Concept link
dc.contributor.authorMuller-Karger, Frank E.  Concept link
dc.contributor.authorSolow, Andrew R.  Concept link
dc.contributor.authorSilva, M.  Concept link
dc.contributor.authorSwayze, Gregg A.  Concept link
dc.identifier.citationJournal of Geophysical Research: Oceans 120 (2015): 8364–8380en_US
dc.description© The Author(s), 2015. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License. The definitive version was published in Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans 120 (2015): 8364–8380, doi:10.1002/2015JC011062.en_US
dc.description.abstractWhen wind speeds are 2–10 m s−1, reflective contrasts in the ocean surface make oil slicks visible to synthetic aperture radar (SAR) under all sky conditions. Neural network analysis of satellite SAR images quantified the magnitude and distribution of surface oil in the Gulf of Mexico from persistent, natural seeps and from the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) discharge. This analysis identified 914 natural oil seep zones across the entire Gulf of Mexico in pre-2010 data. Their ∼0.1 µm slicks covered an aggregated average of 775 km2. Assuming an average volume of 77.5 m3 over an 8–24 h lifespan per oil slick, the floating oil indicates a surface flux of 2.5–9.4 × 104 m3 yr−1. Oil from natural slicks was regionally concentrated: 68%, 25%, 7%, and <1% of the total was observed in the NW, SW, NE, and SE Gulf, respectively. This reflects differences in basin history and hydrocarbon generation. SAR images from 2010 showed that the 87 day DWH discharge produced a surface-oil footprint fundamentally different from background seepage, with an average ocean area of 11,200 km2 (SD 5028) and a volume of 22,600 m3 (SD 5411). Peak magnitudes of oil were detected during equivalent, ∼14 day intervals around 23 May and 18 June, when wind speeds remained <5 m s−1. Over this interval, aggregated volume of floating oil decreased by 21%; area covered increased by 49% (p < 0.1), potentially altering its ecological impact. The most likely causes were increased applications of dispersant and surface burning operations.en_US
dc.description.sponsorshipDoE Grant Number: DE-NT0005638; National Science Foundation Grant Number: EF-0801741; Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Grant Number: M12PC00003en_US
dc.publisherJohn Wiley & Sonsen_US
dc.rightsAttribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International*
dc.subjectRemote sensingen_US
dc.subjectOil pollutionen_US
dc.subjectDeepwater Horizonen_US
dc.subjectNatural seepsen_US
dc.titleNatural and unnatural oil slicks in the Gulf of Mexicoen_US

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Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International