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.
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.
An interdisciplinary panel of 23 experts in oceanography, ecology, physics, and geospatial-mapping combined their knowledge of pelagic faunal distribution patterns to create a biogeographic map of the world’s deep oceans. The panel identified 33 distinct mesopelagic (200-1000 meters depth) ecoregions that reflect regional variation of biodiversity and function.
Scientists used data collected during the Deepwater Horizon spill to validate a model simulation of the physical and chemical behavior of oil and gas rising from the wellhead to the ocean surface.
Researchers use numerical models to simulate oil spill scenarios and predict where oil will go, but the many factors that affect the oil’s path creates uncertainty in the predictions. Shitao Wang quantifies the uncertainty of ocean models to gauge the reliability of oil fate predictions.
Principal Investigator Antonietta Quigg describes ongoing research about marine oil snow formation during the Deepwater Horizon spill and its effects on Gulf of Mexico environments. She discusses how this research could inform oil spill response and shares some preliminary results that surprised their research group.