USF's Weatherbird to Track Oil Spill

Weatherbird II
The Weatherbird II
TAMPA (2010-6-22) -

The USF research vessel that helped reveal the existence of vast underwater oil plumes in the Gulf is set to continue that work Tuesday.

The Weatherbird II is scheduled to leave Tuesday night for a four-day mission in the Gulf.

Earlier trips found evidence of hydrocarbons deep below the surface and also in the Gulf’s Loop Current, which travels from the Gulf, through the Straits of Florida and into the Atlantic.

USF researchers plan to conduct maintenance on existing instruments on buoys, which transmit real-time data on ocean currents and winds in the Gulf. They will also deploy new buoys.

That information will help the Ocean Circulation Group, part of USF’s College of Marine Science, track the oil from the Deepwater Horizon spill and predict where it may go in the future.

The Weatherbird II is expected to travel southwest of Tampa Bay – hundreds of miles from the site of the oil spill, but near the Loop Current.

WUSF’s “University Beat” producer Mark Schreiner and NewsChannel 8’s Mark Douglas will join the research team on the Weatherbird II. They will document the work of the researchers through video and audio, and share it with media outlets once they return.

Accompanying the researchers is Mark Schreiner, producer of WUSF’s “University Beat,” as well as Channel 8’s Mark Douglas. They will document the work of the researchers through video and audio, and share it with media outlets once they return.

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