NOTE: Pronouncer : Tamay Ozgokmen (TUH'-my OHZ'-guhk-mehn)


Miami - 25 July 2013

1. SOUNDBITE (English) Tamay Ozgokmen, professor, oceanography, University of Miami:

"The Deepwater Horizon site is approximately here. So this is the Mississippi River Delta. The Deepwater Horizon site was here, about 1500 meters of water column, and last year, just one year ago almost to this day, we have deployed 317 of these surface drifters."


Gulf of Mexico, 24 July 2013

2. Photo of gas rig fire

3. Close up photo of gas rig fire


Miami - 25 July 2013

4. SOUNDBITE (English) Tamay Ozgokmen, professor, oceanography, University of Miami:

"So far, there's no oil residue or anything like that observed. But, these things have a way of developing into more complicated scenarios so we are, what we are doing right now is we are sending a team who are going to bring drifters. So drifters are instruments that float at the surface of the ocean, like the oil."

5. Close-up of Ozgokmen displaying a drifter instrument

6. SOUNDBITE (English) Tamay Ozgokmen, professor, oceanography, University of Miami, saying this incident is in much, much shallower water than Deepwater Horizon:

"So it's a completely different situation, the currents are likely to very different, the behavior is likely to be very different. If there is spill from the bottom, it will take much less time to reach the surface, and the dynamics are likely to be very different"


Scientists are heading out this week to the site of a fire at a natural gas rig in the Gulf of Mexico. The team, led by a University of Miami oceanography professor, plans to drop hundreds of drifting instruments, made out of biodegradable plywood, to track ocean currents. So far, no oil is leaking -- just natural gas. However, because the "Hercules 265" rig is in much shallower water than the Deepwater Horizon spill, if oil does start leaking, it could spread much more quickly.


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