Marine physicist Dave Ortiz-Suslow deploys a drifter, or buoyant device that moves with and measures ocean currents. The drifter has a GPS device strapped onto to track the drifter’s position at every second. Ortiz-Suslow, of the University of Miami, and other scientists use this data to model ocean currents.
Oceanographers and researchers who study fluid dynamics model the hydrocarbon plume, or oil cloud, emitted from a well during an explosion. Understanding how oil behaves in the deep ocean and predicting how it will move begins at the site of the leak.