"Where will the oil go?" and "When will it get there?" are important questions asked during an oil spill response. This 2002 guide, available in English and Spanish, describes the basic concepts involved in analyzing the forecasted trajectory of spilled oil, including an overview of the physical processes that affect oil movement and behavior in the marine environment.
It can help the spill responder and planner understand physical processes and potential uncertainties as they incorporate trajectory analysis into the response.
This job aid is available in English and Spanish.
View and Print the Job Aid:
Trajectory Analysis Handbook [PDF, 2.6 MB]: Published in 2002.
Manual de Analisis de Trayectorias [PDF, 3.9 MB]: In Spanish, published in 2002.
Order a Copy: We're sorry, but bound copies of the handbook are not available at this time.
Questions and Answers: Spill Trajectory Analysis [PDF, 260.3 KB]: This report provides a technical explanation of spill trajectory analysis and how it differs from oil spill trajectory modeling.
Digital Distribution Standard for NOAA Trajectory Analysis Information [PDF, 225.5 KB]: This 1996 report provides a technical description of a method for preparing a set of "minimum regret" trajectory model runs for use in trajectory analysis, and a standard digital file format for presenting the results.
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