Simulation shows oil moving up East Coast

A supercomputer simulation shows where the torrent of oil flowing into the Gulf of Mexico will likely travel over the summer.

NCAR

A supercomputer simulation conducted by the National Center for Atmospheric Research in conjunction with the Los Alamos National Laboratory indicates that the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is likely to move up the East Coast. However, officials are stressing the results are a simulation and not a prediction.

The findings, detailed by NCAR, suggest that the Deepwater Horizon oil spill could extend "along thousands of miles of the Atlantic coast and open ocean as early as this summer."

According to NCAR:

The computer simulations indicate that, once the oil in the uppermost ocean has become entrained in the Gulf of Mexico's fast-moving Loop Current, it is likely to reach Florida's Atlantic coast within weeks. It can then move north as far as about Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, with the Gulf Stream, before turning east. Whether the oil will be a thin film on the surface or mostly subsurface due to mixing in the uppermost region of the ocean is not known.

Read more of "Supercomputer simulation: Gulf of Mexico oil spill may move up East Coast" at ZDNet's Between The Lines.

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About the author

    Larry Dignan is editor in chief of ZDNet and editorial director of CNET's TechRepublic. He has covered the technology and financial-services industries since 1995.

     

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