Petroleum hydrocarbons released by oil spills can accumulate on beaches and in nearshore sediments, potentially creating health risks for humans and coastal organisms. However, the highly variable conditions of beach environments make it difficult to determine the long-term behavior and fate of hydrocarbons in sands and sediment.
Scientists conducted light-exposure experiments using Macondo oil and Corexit dispersant and ran model simulations to investigate how photo-chemical weathering (oxidation) affects dispersant effectiveness in oil spill response.
Researchers collected and analyzed terrestrial arthropods from Louisiana marshes to determine the combined effects from Deepwater Horizon and Hurricane Isaac on saltmarsh ecosystems. The initial oiling from the spill (2010) followed by the oil’s redistribution during Hurricane Isaac (2012) negatively affected some arthropod groups three-four years after the spill.
The Smithsonian’s Ocean Portal recently redesigned their website, and it now includes a page dedicated to the Deepwater Horizon incident.
Oil spill material that enters the water column may adhere to resuspended seafloor sediments and be transported to other areas. Stephan O’Brien is investigating how physical factors, such as wind and waves, affect the suspension and subsequent transport of sediments in the Mississippi Sound and Bight.
Researchers analyzed an enhanced formulation of a gel-like surfactant encased in a compact buoyant pod for oil spill remediation.
The Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI) is pleased to announce a new Sea Grant Fact Sheet that uses easy-to-understand graphics and descriptions about how some oil accumulated at shorelines, on the ocean’s surface, in an underwater plume, and on the seafloor.
An international team of researchers has completed a seven-year baseline study of fish populations in the Gulf of Mexico in the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
Researchers modified a matrix population model to include the impact of a disturbance and study the recovery process for large marine mammal populations. They applied the model to identify key components in the recovery process for Gulf of Mexico sperm whales following a disturbance such as the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
The Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI) is pleased to announce a new Sea Grant publication that provides helpful information about storms and oil spills. Oil and chemicals from damaged rigs and vessels can form slicks that can pollute marine and shoreline ecosystems.