MODIS images today were too cloudy to be useful, but an excellent radar satellite image was taken today of the ongoing Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. This image, taken from the Envisat satellite using the ASAR radar sensor, shows oil apparently making landfall in Alabama on the east side of Mobile Bay, in the Fort Morgan – Gulf Shores area. An article on the Washington Post website today seems to confirm what we’re seeing on the image:
Oil slicks and sheen spread across a total area of about 11,505 square miles (29,796 km2) on this image, which doesn’t extend very far west of the Mississippi Delta, and doesn’t cover the approach to Florida Straits where we saw possible indications of oil on May 27.
Dr. Ian MacDonald and Dr. Oscar Garcia-Pineda at Florida State University have also been systematically analyzing the radar images of this spill. The animated graphic below shows a detailed look at the northeastern portion of the oil slick as it moves eastward off the Alabama coast and the Florida Panhandle on May 31, June 1 and June 3:
And here is a heartbreaking look at what this oil is doing to wildlife now. Warning, these photos are very disturbing and sad.