Deepwater Horizon Surface Oil


On April 20, 2010 the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil rig experienced a series of malfunctions and subsequent explosions that disengaged the rig from its drill and killed eleven workers onboard. The explosion damaged the wellhead 5,000 feet below the surface, and crude oil flowed from the damaged wellhead until a containment cap was put in place on July 15, 2010.

The Earth Scan Laboratory has been tracking the oil that reaches the surface of the Gulf of Mexico (GOM). The image to the right is a composite of three satellite images all captured around June 14, 2010: calculated sea surface temperatures captured by the MODIS sensor aboard NASA's Aqua-1 satellite with microwave imagery from Radarsat-1 and Envisat superimposed. See links below for surveillance of this environmental crisis.

MODIS image of the Deepwater Horizon oil slick in the northern Gulf of Mexico