Oil Slick off the Mississippi Delta

Oil Slick off the Mississippi Delta

More than a month after the April 20 Deepwater Horizon accident, oil from the accident lingered near the Mississippi Delta. Sunlight reflecting off the sea surface (or sunglint) illuminated the oil for the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite on May 22, 2010. In this natural-color image, the oil slick east-southeast of the delta appears dull gray. Sediment-laden water from the Mississippi is muddy-brown. Due south of the delta, oil-slicked water appears to brush up against sediment-rich water, although the exact boundary of the oil slick is unclear.

  1. Related Resources

  2. Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill Response, the official site of the Deepwater Horizon unified command.
  3. Current information about the extent of the oil slick is available from the Office of Response and Restoration at the National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration.
  4. Information about the impact of the oil slick on wildlife is provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Images & Animations


File Dimensions

  • 720x480
  • JPEG
  • 2200x3000
  • JPEG 1 MB

Note: Often times, due to the size, browsers have a difficult time opening and displaying images. If you experiece an error when clicking on an image link, please try directly downloading the image (using a right click, save as method) to view it locally.


  • Data Date:

    May 22, 2010
  • Visualization Date:

    May 23, 2010
  • Sensor(s):

    Terra - MODIS


NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration