Just before Christmas, a new paper is accepted. Knut-Frode Dagestad (MET Norway, left), Oscar Garcia (WaterMapping, LLC, middle), Lars R. Hole (MET Norway, in the back) and Camilla Brekke (UiT, right) collected valuable data during the NORSE2019 campaign and the paper in JGR Oceans and can now be accessed here. The paper is characterizing free floating mineral and soybean oil spills through integration of drift simulations, remote sensing, and in-situ data. The dynamics of oil spill extent and its evolution over time are accurately resolved by numerical modelling. For thin oil films, optical and radar imagery show different detection capabilities.

The scientific results presented in this paper are of relevance for agencies providing and using oil spill monitoring services and organizations engaged in oil spill contingency and preparedness planning. In particular, we present results from a free floating oil spill experiment in the open ocean. We look at ways to characterize mineral and soybean oil spills through integration of oil drift simulations, data collected from imaging sensors in air and space, and data collected locally on site. The results document that it is possible to obtain good agreement between predicted drift and observations. Our findings indicate that biological oil potentially could replace mineral oil in oil spill contingency and rehearsal campaigns, but this result is only supported when the purpose is to study oil spill monitoring and trajectory simulations. This study also reveals differences in oil detection capabilities between the different sensors studied.