Researchers developed the first detailed numerical model for predicting the conditions under which marine oil snow aggregates form and the amount of oil they transport to the ocean floor.
Sharing science can be lots of fun, especially during events that have a light-hearted atmosphere where people gather for a good time. This past year, researchers and outreach staff from consortia funded by the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative participated in a variety of events to share ocean and marine science that’s being used to study the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
Researchers examined the isotopic composition of single-celled organisms (foraminifera) in seafloor sediment for evidence of the documented marine oil snow event that followed Deepwater Horizon.
A new study of the Deepwater Horizon response showed that massive quantities of chemically engineered dispersants injected at the wellhead — roughly 1,500 meters (4,921 feet) beneath the surface — were unrelated to the formation of the massive deepwater oil plume.
An international science team studying oil spill effects on marine ecosystems completed 12 research expeditions over seven years and produced the first fisheries-independent, multinational Gulf-wide fish survey.
Phytoplankton and bacteria in the northern Gulf of Mexico interact closely at the food web base and provide vital food and nutrients to marine life at higher trophic levels. During the Deepwater Horizon incident, these pervasive organisms played an important role in oil bioremediation before and after the application of chemical dispersants, which broke up surface slicks into smaller droplets and enhanced microbial degradation.
The Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative is pleased to announce that its partner Sea Grant and their Oil Spill Science Outreach Program received the National Superior Outreach Programming Award for synthesizing research results related to the Deepwater Horizon incident and engaging audiences who rely on healthy marine ecosystems to learn of their needs and share the latest science.
Join our team! We are organizing and documenting data to promote a culture of open data and open science in the Gulf of Mexico.
Scientists analyzed visual observations and computer simulations of the Deepwater Horizon oil flow to better understand the characteristics of an uncontrolled pipeline flow and how they affect the amount of oil discharge and droplet size distribution, which are critical for effective response decisions.
Oil, gases, and bubbles jet out together during a deep-ocean petroleum blowout, and the oil quickly breaks up into different-sized droplets. Predicting the sizes of these droplets is critical to determine how long it will take the oil to reach the ocean’s surface and the resulting oil slick’s size.