NOAA Observations Indicate a Small Portion of Light Oil Sheen Has Entered the Loop Current
NOAA’s latest observations indicate that a small portion of the oil slick has reached the Loop Current in the form of light to very light sheens.
In the time it would take for oil to travel to the vicinity of the Florida Straits, any oil would be highly weathered and both the natural process of evaporation and the application of chemical dispersants would reduce the oil volume significantly. However, the oil may get caught in a clockwise eddy in the middle of the gulf, and not be carried to the Florida Straits at all.
Oil entrained in the Loop Current would require persistent onshore winds or an eddy on the edge of the Loop Current for it to reach the Florida shoreline. If this were to occur, the weathered and diluted oil would likely appear in isolated locations in the form of tar balls.
The Coast Guard has confirmed that the tar balls collected yesterday in the Florida Keys did not originate with the BP oil spill.
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