New Method Predicts How Oil Flows After Drilling Disaster

UCSB's Igor Mezic developes a new method for predicting how oil will flow and mix in the ocean.

Mechanical Engineering professor and Institute for Energy Efficiency's Buildings & Design Solutions group head Igor Mezic has created a way to more accurately predict how oil in the Gulf of Mexico will mix and wash ashore.  Using this new method, Mezic and team were able to calculate that oil from Deepwater Horizon's disaster would end up in Plaquemines Parish, LA and Pensacola, FL.  They were even able to alert cleanup crews and provide accurate forecasts of where oil would wash up on shore.  Additionally, Mezic says further refinements of this new methodology could be done in order to predict the spread of many other kinds of contaminants, such as ash spewed out of an erupting volcano, fallout from a nuclear accident, or warm air seeping into a climate-controlled building. 

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