The Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI) is pleased to announce a new Sea Grant publication that discusses how communities respond to a human-induced incident such as an oil spill as compared to natural disasters.
Researchers evaluated training sessions for community health workers that included disaster-related components to provide improvements in their curricula. Feedback from participants and staff identified public health, cultural competency, community advocacy, and peer listening as the most useful training modules.
The Smithsonian’s Ocean Portal published an article about deep sea coral affected by the Deepwater Horizon incident and how their recovery is linked to the sea creature that lives on them. The ECOGIG research consortium are monitoring the health of these corals over time using high-resolution imagery, and they have made some amazing discoveries.
Researchers simulated the sinking of marine particle aggregates in oil-dispersant mixtures to assess how Corexit chemical dispersant affects specific biological processes involving marine oil snow formation. The team found that Corexit could significantly enhance or inhibit marine oil snow formation depending on application timing and location and interactions with other water column compounds, making its influence difficult to predict.
The 2017 hurricane season was one of the most active and destructive on record and included two major storms that affected the U.S. Gulf Coast – Harvey and Irma. Scientists who lead consortia funded by the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative are based in this area, and they shared how they and their teams prepared for and fared after the storms.
Scientists analyzed in situ deep-depth water column measurements before and after the Deepwater Horizon well was capped and calculated degradation rate estimates for 49 hydrocarbons (23% of released spill material) and inferred the rates of an additional 5 hydrocarbons.
The Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI) is pleased to announce a new Sea Grant publication that explains which corals were affected by the Deepwater Horizon incident and how scientists are monitoring those corals. The bulletin also describes the important roles that corals play in maintaining a healthy ocean and how corals worldwide struggle in the face of constant, multiple threats.
Researchers developed a new formulation to simulate gas-oil interactions within a developing underwater oil plume and applied the technique to the Deepwater Horizon incident. The simulations showed that in the absence of dispersant, gas bubbles reduced the median oil droplet and bubble sizes by up to 20%, with 30 – 50% reduction observed in intermediate gas fractions.
Scientists completed four field experiments in the Gulf of Mexico, linking the dynamics of deep ocean, shelf, and coastal surface currents (where materials such as oil or debris naturally accumulate) in a way that has never been done before. So how did they do that?
Researchers developed an algorithm that accounts for different wind speeds, oil types, natural dispersion processes (breaking waves), and chemical dispersant application to analyze oil slick evolution scenarios. The model results indicate how the oil slick will become thinner and dissipate over time as a result of dispersion.