Gulf of Mexico oil slick update

June 19th, 2010
MODIS true color and false color RGB images

MODIS true color and false color RGB images

The comparison of a 250-meter resolution MODIS true color Red/Green/Blue (RGB) image (created using Bands 1/4/3) with the corresponding MODIS false color (created using Bands 7/2/1) image from the SSEC MODIS Today site (above) showed intricate details of the surface oil slick in the far northern Gulf of Mexico on 19 June 2010. The glaciated cloud tops of deep convection appeared as darker shades of cyan on the false color image.

On the true color image, note the small black features located over the bright oil slick, toward the lower left portion of the image — this was smoke from small fires which were apparently being set to burn off some of the surface oil (the fire hot spots show up as shades of pink on the false color image). This was Day 61 following the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon offshore oil rig on 20 April.

The MODIS true color image displayed using Google Earth (below; courtesy of Liam Gumley, CIMSS) offers a different perspective and a larger-scale view of the oil slick.

MODIS true color image (displayed using Google Earth)

MODIS true color image (displayed using Google Earth)

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