Monday, June 14, 2010

So I'm standing on the beach

So I'm standing on the beach, wondering about all that oil that's spilled into the gulf. Actually trying to figure out a way to visualize the amount of oil.

I wondered - if there was an equivalent amount of oil just on the surface of the ocean, what would it look like? So I set out trying to figure out the following: how big would an oil slick be if the same amount of oil was neatly, tightly organized into a 1 foot deep slick.

If I'm standing on the beach, and the oil is 1 foot deep, would there be oil as far as the eye could see? Would it be 5 times that? 100 times that? I had no idea but wanted to find out.

I played around with the idea here for anyone interested but essentially, the answer I came up with is a bit less than 5%. Essentially, if I was standing on a ridiculously straight beach and looked forward, out to sea, about 5% of what I saw out on the water would be a 1 ft deep oil slick.

Just another way to put it all into perspective. It's just horrible!