Scientists video recorded bubbles released from natural seafloor seeps in the Gulf of Mexico to determine the rate and volume of oil and gas released. The researchers observed that oily bubbles were larger and released more slowly than gaseous or mixed (part-oil, part-gas) bubbles.
Laser light and high-speed cameras can help researchers observe the behavior of oil droplets within a laboratory-simulated oil plume and interpret how the oil subsequently may move through the water column. Xinzhi Xue uses lasers to non-invasively probe inside the oil plume and get a detailed look at the oil fragmentation process.
Researchers analyzed the combined effects of photooxidation and biodegradation on sand patties associated with the Deepwater Horizon incident. The scientists found that irradiation contributed to increased concentrations of dissolved organic carbon, which leached from sand patties penetrated by seawater.
Data and pictures from before and after a disaster help us understand the impacts of an event; however, the “before” is not always available. Researchers with the RECOVER consortium have found through oil-exposure laboratory studies that the Deepwater Horizon incident may have negatively affected mahi-mahi’s heart function, vision, and swim performance.
A Louisiana State University researcher conducted laboratory experiments to learn how estuarine fish behave around sediments containing varying concentrations of weathered and fresh oil. He observed that fish exhibited a stronger avoidance response to medium and high concentrations of fresh oil compared to low concentrations and observed no significant avoidance of any weathered oil concentrations.
Opportunity: MS Graduate Assistantship, Fisheries Oceanography/Ecology, University of Southern Mississippi
The Fisheries Oceanography and Ecology Lab (Department of Coastal Sciences, University of Southern Mississippi) invites applications for a MS Graduate Student in the field of Fisheries Oceanography/Ecology.
Opportunity: Postdoctoral Research Associate, Fisheries Oceanography/Ecology, University of Southern Mississippi
The Fisheries Oceanography and Ecology Lab (Department of Coastal Sciences, University of Southern Mississippi) invites applications for a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the field of Fisheries Oceanography.
Devika Bhalerao uses DNA analyses to identify organisms important to the larvae’s survival and determine if oiling alters the presence of various organisms in the food web. Her findings will help develop analytical tools that ecologists can use to evaluate the health of tidal marshes.
Scientists conducted passive acoustic monitoring (PAM) of whales in the northern Gulf of Mexico using two autonomous surface vehicles (ASVs) capable of recording marine mammal sounds.
The Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI) is pleased to announce a new Sea Grant informational publication that discusses the locations where approximate amounts of oil went after the Deepwater Horizon spill. The publication Deepwater Horizon: Where did the oil go? summarizes what researchers have discovered about where the spilled oil traveled and what processes carried it along its path.