Sea Surface Current at the last coordinate of MH370

The mass media just release the last coordinate of MH370 is located at the border between Malaysia and Vietnamese water off the cape of Camau.

From Bernama Twitter

The last known position of #MissingMH370 before it disappeared off the radar was 065515 North (longitude) and 1033443 East (latitude)- MAS

From the China CCTV news, currently a few countries has conducted Search and Rescue operation above the last known coordinate of MH370.

As a remote sensing scientist, I am unable to provide any good insight of the plane from the current satellite image, however, based on the available Ocean Color Image provided by NASA, I am able to roughly inform you the sea surface current at the “last known coordinate”.

Based on yesterday MODIS Aqua satellite chlorophyll-a image on 7 March 2014, the sea surface current at the “last known location” still showing the pattern of Northeast monsoon surface current condition. The high chlorophyll a water is extended from the Cape of Camau (Vietnam) towards the offshore of Kelantan at Peninsular Malaysia. The depth of this area is about 50m (from the CCTV news)

Figure below show the estimated last MH370 location and the surface current direction drawn based on the extension of the rich chlorophyll a water from the Cape of Camau. Based on the previous study this rich water front will travel along the off shore water of Kelantan and Terengganu, it will not reach the coastal area as there is another alongshore coastal current coming down from the Gulf of Thailand.

If the plane is locating at this area, the victims might be drifted by the surface current towards the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia. We hope this small piece of information will be able to assist the Search and Rescue operation successfully locate MH370.

We all hope that all people on MH370 will be safe. Let’s pray for them. #PrayForMH370


Satellite Image source: NASA Ocean Color Web