Oil spill disaster after the loss of the oil rig 'Deepwater Horizon' in the Gulf of Mexico
On April 21, 2010 a momentous explosion occured on the oil rig "Deepwater Horizon" located in the Gulf of Mexico about 80 km off the coast of Louisiana, USA. The oil rig caught fire and 11 workers were missing after the incident and are believed to be dead. On the following day the oil rig sank to the seafloor about 1500 m below the surface and approximately 400 m northwest of the well.
An estimation of up to 800.000 litres of oil are leaking from three places of the well and threaten the marine ecosystem of the Gulf of Mexico, the ecologically sensitive Mississippi delta as well as the coast of Luisiana, USA. Efforts to stop the leakage have not been successful to date. The crisis escalated to a cause of national importance and for the most affected State of Louisiana the state of emergency has been declared.
During several overpasses over the Gulf of Mexico the German TerraSAR-X Satellite acquired radar images showing the extensive oil spill on the sea surface caused by the oil rig disaster. The ZKI maps illustrate the extent of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico at several times as well as its evolution based on the TerraSAR-X data.