SOURCE: Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Service
Approximate oil locations from April 25, 2010 to April 28, 2010 including forecast for April 29, based on trajectories and overflight information. Map produced April 28, 2010.
Map of the northern Gulf of Mexico showing the nearly 4,000 active oil and gas platforms.
The Gulf Loop is a strong current in the eastern Gulf of Mexico. It can be a short loop (Step 1), or stretched very long (Step 2). When it is long, it often pinches off a spinning body of water called an eddy (Step 3). These eddies drift westward over many weeks (Step 4). They slowly lose energy in the western Gulf. This cycle repeats itself several times a year. Image courtesy of Gulf of Mexico 2002, NOAA/OER.
The general current flow of the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean is greatly influenced by the narrow gaps in the eastern wall and by the depth of inter-basin sills. This can be seen by examining bathymetry of two transects. NOAA
Image courtesy of Gulf of Mexico Expedition 2002 -- The Brine Pool and other brine lakes in the Gulf of Mexico are caused by dissolution of buried salt deposits created during a time when the Gulf dried out. Now broken into two large sheets, movement of the salt sculpts the seafloor, which creates unique habitats.
Image courtesy of Gulf of Mexico Expedition 2002 -- The slopes of the Gulf of Mexico are unlike those found in the adjacent Atlantic. In two areas (type 1) there are steep carbonate escarpments. On the north and a bit on the south salt movement greatly influences the chemistry and geology (type 2). Only in the west and a small area of the northeast are “normal” deep habitats found (type 3).