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Effects of Mesoscale Eddies on Three-Dimensional Oil Dispersion: Data Integration, Interpretation and Implications for Oil Spill Models

Implementing Organization

University of South Florida


DWH Project Funding


Known Leveraged Funding


Funding Organization

Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI)

Funding Program

Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative GoMRI Grant Program


Project Category


Project Actions

Environmental Research

Targeted Resources

Pelagic Zone

Project Description

The major objective of this proposal is to analyze, understand and quantify the roles of mesoscale eddies in the three-dimensional dispersal of subsurface materials. This will be achieved through three specific goals: 1) Characterize and quantify the subsurface impacts of mesoscale eddies in the GoM by synthesizing and analyzing multiple streams of data sets (e.g., satellite altimetry, historical in-situ deep-ocean current measurements); 2) Evaluate the existing state-of-the-art GoM circulation/oil tracking models (a synthesis of existing products within previous and ongoing research effort during RFP I to V) by focusing on the relationships between surface mesoscale features and subsurface currents and vertical mixing (if available); 3) Produce a semi-empirical formula to present the subsurface impacts of mesoscale eddies; conduct sensitivity experiments showing the impacts of this new formula in modifying the trajectory predictions with the existing GoM models.


Xinfeng Liang
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