UM Rosenstiel School-led study provides new remote technique to aid in disaster response
Researchers at the University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science have developed a new technology to measure the currents near the ocean's surface that carry pollutants such as plastics and spilled oil.
Figure adapted from Fig. 9 of paper. Comparison of currents estimated via camera tracking of dye (yellow for surface, violet for sub-surface) and through extraction from short wave spectra (green and blue represent two different depth assignment schemes, as described in paper). Brown 'oil' on right side is for reference only, representing the typical 1 micron -- 2 centimeter range of surface oil thickness.
Credit: N.J.M Laxague
This new technique, which includes a specialized video camera to remotely sense currents in the upper few centimeters of the water column, can help scientists more accurately predict the fate of spilled oil or other marine pollutants that are transported at the surface layer by providing these measurements that were previously unattainable.
"The health and economic impacts of spilled oil and marine debris have the potential to be profoundly negative," said UM Rosenstiel School postdoctoral researcher Nathan Laxague, and lead author of the study. "Improving our ability to measure near-surface ocean currents can aid in disaster response and provides for greater context in understanding the dynamics of marine pollutant transport."
Laxague and colleagues conducted two experiments -- one in a laboratory and one in the field at the mouth of the Columbia River--to test their new technique. In the laboratory study, the researchers imaged the water surface in the SUSTAIN (SUrge-STructure Atmosphere INteraction) facility using a specialized camera that simultaneously records three polarizations of reflected light off the ocean surface to determine the current profile for a range of wind speeds. In the field study, a research vessel was stationed in the mouth of the Columbia River along the Oregon-Washington border to verify the results from the lab experiment in a real-world setting.
The data gathered from the experiments showed that the innovative optical technique is ideal to measure currents within the first few centimeters at the ocean's surface.
"This slice of the water column is important because it is where oil, larvae and other drifting floating objects are, and yet, until now, scientists had no good way to measure it using existing technologies," said UM Rosenstiel School Ocean Science Professor Brian Haus, a co-author of the study.
The study was conducted as a part of the CARTHE (Consortium for Advanced Research on Transport of Hydrocarbon in the Environment) and RIVET (RIVerine and Estuarine Transport) projects. Based at the UM Rosenstiel School, CARTHE, is a research team dedicated to predicting the fate of the oil released into our environment as a result of future oil spills.
The paper, titled "Passive optical sensing of the near-surface, wind-driven current profile," appears in the Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology in its online pre-print version. The study's authors include: Laxague, Haus, David Ortiz-Suslow, Conor Smith, Guillaume Novelli, Hanjing Dai, Tamay Özgökmen, and Hans Graber from the UM Rosenstiel School Department of Ocean Sciences.
The Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (grant #SA1207GOMRI005) and the Office of Naval Research (grant #N000141410643) provided funding for the study.
About the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School
The University of Miami is one of the largest private research institutions in the southeastern United States. The University's mission is to provide quality education, attract and retain outstanding students, support the faculty and their research, and build an endowment for University initiatives. Founded in the 1940's, the Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science has grown into one of the world's premier marine and atmospheric research institutions. Offering dynamic interdisciplinary academics, the Rosenstiel School is dedicated to helping communities to better understand the planet, participating in the establishment of environmental policies, and aiding in the improvement of society and quality of life. For more information, visit: http://www.
Diana UDel | EurekAlert!
Gas hydrate research: Advanced knowledge and new technologies
23.03.2018 | Helmholtz-Zentrum Potsdam - Deutsches GeoForschungsZentrum GFZ
New technologies and computing power to help strengthen population data
22.03.2018 | University of Southampton
Satellites in near-Earth orbit are at risk due to the steady increase in space debris. But their mission in the areas of telecommunications, navigation or weather forecasts is essential for society. Fraunhofer FHR therefore develops radar-based systems which allow the detection, tracking and cataloging of even the smallest particles of debris. Satellite operators who have access to our data are in a better position to plan evasive maneuvers and prevent destructive collisions. From April, 25-29 2018, Fraunhofer FHR and its partners will exhibit the complementary radar systems TIRA and GESTRA as well as the latest radar techniques for space observation across three stands at the ILA Berlin.
The "traffic situation" in space is very tense: the Earth is currently being orbited not only by countless satellites but also by a large volume of space...
An international team of researchers has discovered a new anti-cancer protein. The protein, called LHPP, prevents the uncontrolled proliferation of cancer cells in the liver. The researchers led by Prof. Michael N. Hall from the Biozentrum, University of Basel, report in “Nature” that LHPP can also serve as a biomarker for the diagnosis and prognosis of liver cancer.
The incidence of liver cancer, also known as hepatocellular carcinoma, is steadily increasing. In the last twenty years, the number of cases has almost doubled...
In just a few weeks from now, the Chinese space station Tiangong-1 will re-enter the Earth's atmosphere where it will to a large extent burn up. It is possible that some debris will reach the Earth's surface. Tiangong-1 is orbiting the Earth uncontrolled at a speed of approx. 29,000 km/h.Currently the prognosis relating to the time of impact currently lies within a window of several days. The scientists at Fraunhofer FHR have already been monitoring Tiangong-1 for a number of weeks with their TIRA system, one of the most powerful space observation radars in the world, with a view to supporting the German Space Situational Awareness Center and the ESA with their re-entry forecasts.
Following the loss of radio contact with Tiangong-1 in 2016 and due to the low orbital height, it is now inevitable that the Chinese space station will...
Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP, provider of research and development services for OLED lighting solutions, announces the founding of the “OLED Licht Forum” and presents latest OLED design and lighting solutions during light+building, from March 18th – 23rd, 2018 in Frankfurt a.M./Germany, at booth no. F91 in Hall 4.0.
They are united in their passion for OLED (organic light emitting diodes) lighting with all of its unique facets and application possibilities. Thus experts in...
A new scenario seeking to explain how Mars' putative oceans came and went over the last 4 billion years implies that the oceans formed several hundred million...
23.03.2018 | Event News
19.03.2018 | Event News
16.03.2018 | Event News
23.03.2018 | Materials Sciences
23.03.2018 | Agricultural and Forestry Science
23.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy