Smoke Plume on Gulf Coast Near Vermilion Bay, LA

A small plume of smoke appears on yesterday morning’s MODIS/Terra satellite image of the Gulf coast, not far from Vermilion Bay in Louisiana. It’s not a big plume, only about 16 miles long, and normally we wouldn’t note this except that a tiny diesel-oil spill (2 ounces!) was reported from a vessel at this same location back on September 27.

MODIS/Terra image taken October 2, 2011 showing small smoke plume coinciding with a recent report of a small diesel leak from a vessel. Unknown if these events are related.

The Terra image was taken at about 10:45 am local time.  The MODIS/Aqua image taken a few hours later at about 2pm shows the plume is much fainter but stretches about 80 miles out into the Gulf.  The fire seems to be cooler – the smoke plume isn’t as dense, and doesn’t throw an obvious shadow like it does on the Terra image.  We don’t know if this fire and the earlier report of a diesel leak from a vessel are related, but the spatial coincidence was too interesting to pass up.

If anyone knows more about this fire please write in a comment to this post, or contact us.