May 5, 2010
Crude from the massive Gulf of Mexico oil spill could eventually slosh ashore on Miami Beach or North Carolina’s barrier islands, if it connects with a powerful sea current, an oceanographer said on Tuesday.
Robert Weisberg, a physical oceanographer at the University of South Florida, told a conference call the so-called Loop Current that sweeps around the Gulf was poised to connect with the spreading oil slick.
Once “entrainment” occurs, he said, the oil would be pulled quickly south along Florida’s Gulf coast and out into the Florida Straits, between the United States and Cuba.
“Exactly when the oil will enter the Loop Current at the surface is unknown but it appears to be imminent,” Weisberg said, referring to the prevailing current in the Gulf.