Dispersion of a tracer in the deep Gulf of Mexico
Ledwell, James R.
Spencer, Laura J.
MetadataShow full item record
A 25 km streak of CF3SF5 was released on an isopycnal surface approximately 1100 m deep, and 150 m above the bottom, along the continental slope of the northern Gulf of Mexico, to study stirring and mixing of a passive tracer. The location and depth of the release were near those of the deep hydrocarbon plume resulting from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil well rupture. The tracer was sampled between 5 and 12 days after release, and again 4 and 12 months after release. The tracer moved along the slope at first but gradually moved into the interior of the Gulf. Diapycnal spreading of the patch during the first 4 months was much faster than it was between 4 and 12 months, indicating that mixing was greatly enhanced over the slope. The rate of lateral homogenization of the tracer was much greater than observed in similar experiments in the open ocean, again possibly enhanced near the slope. Maximum concentrations found in the surveys had fallen by factors of 104, 107, and 108, at 1 week, 4 months, and 12 months, respectively, compared with those estimated for the initial tracer streak. A regional ocean model was used to simulate the tracer field and help interpret its dispersion and temporal evolution. Model-data comparisons show that the model simulation was able to replicate statistics of the observed tracer distribution that would be important in assessing the impact of oil releases in the middepth Gulf.
Author Posting. © American Geophysical Union, 2016. This article is posted here by permission of American Geophysical Union for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans 121 (2016): 1110–1132, doi:10.1002/2015JC011405.
Suggested CitationArticle: Ledwell, James R., He, Ruoying, Xue, Zuo, DiMarco, Steven, Spencer, Laura J., Chapman, Piers, "Dispersion of a tracer in the deep Gulf of Mexico", Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans 121 (2016): 1110–1132, DOI:10.1002/2015JC011405, https://hdl.handle.net/1912/7996
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
The sediments of the western Gulf of Mexico. I. The continental terrace of the western Gulf of Mexico : its surface sediments, origin, and development. II. Chemical studies of sediments of the western Gulf of Mexico Stetson, Henry C.; Trask, Parker D. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 1953-05)In 1947 the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution organized an expedition to investigate the bottom sediments and oceanography of the northwest Gulf of Mexico. The Geological Society of America contributed to the support ...
Mixing in the North Atlantic Tracer Release Experiment : observations and numerical simulations of Lagrangian particles and passive tracer Sundermeyer, Miles A. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 1995-09)Mixing and stirring of passive tracer and Lagrangian particles in the open ocean was studied through comparison of observations from the North Atlantic Tracer Release Experiment, a numerical model, and existing theory. ...
Time series measurements of transient tracers and tracer-derived transport in the Deep Western Boundary Current between the Labrador Sea and the subtropical Atlantic Ocean at Line W Smith, John N.; Smethie, William M.; Yashayaev, Igor; Curry, Ruth G.; Azetsu-Scott, Kumiko (John Wiley & Sons, 2016-11-10)Time series measurements of the nuclear fuel reprocessing tracer 129I and the gas ventilation tracer CFC-11 were undertaken on the AR7W section in the Labrador Sea (1997–2014) and on Line W (2004–2014), located over the ...