Wind and Current Effects on Large-Scale Oil Slicks.
LOUISIANA STATE UNIV BATON ROUGE COASTAL STUDIES INST
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The relative effect of local winds and near-surface currents in determining the movement of oil slicks in coastal and shelf waters was determined from 39 surveys by Raydist-equipped helicopters during the Main Pass 41C spill off the Mississippi Delta in March 1970. Orientation of oil slicks is closely controlled by local wind direction slicks usually form 10-40 degrees to the right of the wind. Wind shifts associated with various sectors of migrating high-pressure cells quickly realign new slicks and actively dissipate old ones. Density fronts, both ambient and quasi-stationary, also play important roles in determining slick movement and size. An easily used regression model for slick area and orientation as a function of wind velocity and local conditions is also presented.
- Physical and Dynamic Oceanography
- Civil Engineering