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Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill - MODIS/Aqua Detail (with interpretation), May 4, 2010

This MODIS / Aqua image taken the afternoon of May 4, 2010, shows much of the oil slick resulting from the ongoing Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Fresh upwelling of oil is apparent in the bright patch of slick around the location of the leaking well on the seafloor. Long tendrils of slicks and sheen reach to the southwest and east. Total area covered by slicks and sheen - possibly including some patches of open water - is 3,260 square miles. Pale streaks of turbid water from recent high winds and waves, and dark streaks and patches of wind-shadow oriented southwest-northeast, complicate the picture near shore and could possibly obscure patches of oil in those areas. Heavy clouds to the south may also be obscuring oil.

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Taken on May 4, 2010