Scientists analyzed weathered and fresh Macondo oil to learn about oil products resulting from microbial degradation and photochemical reactions. They observed that 48 months after the Deepwater Horizon spill, less than 1 percent of oil remained in marsh sediments collected from heavily-impacted sites; however, it was still 400 times greater than sites with moderate-to-no observed oiling.
Oil droplets can attach to tiny sediment particles suspended in the water column, causing them to sink to the seafloor where they can linger for a long time. Sediment grain size influences if and how oil droplets are resuspended into the water column.
Marshes depend on a healthy, well-functioning complex of plants, microbes, and benthic communities to support the environmentally and economically important ecosystem services they offer, such as reducing storm surges and providing nursery grounds for many species.
Scientists conducting oil spill research participated in the 2013 Marine Oil Snow Sedimentation and Flocculent Accumulation (MOSSFA) workshop. The researchers discussed the formation and fate of oil-associated marine snow and its ecological impacts on deep-sea environments and made recommendations for future marine oil snow research.
Scientists ran model simulations for oil evaporation based on composition measurements of fresh Macondo crude oil and weathered surface oil from Deepwater Horizon slicks.
Scientists conducted laboratory exposure experiments to assess the effects of dispersed crude oil, Corexit 9500A dispersant, and natural ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation on early larval stages of planktonic copepods (“nauplii”).
The Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI) congratulates its Research Board Chair Dr. Rita Colwell for her selection as a National Academy of Inventors Fellow.
The flow of the Mississippi River into the northern Gulf of Mexico may have caused circulation patterns and fronts that significantly influenced the transport and fate of Deepwater Horizon oil. However, the Gulf’s complex topography and the proximity of variable oceanic currents to the Mississippi Delta make it difficult to monitor and model these processes.
The Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative is pleased to announce a new informational brochure about how the Deepwater Horizon oil spill affected the mental health of some Gulf Coast residents.
Louisiana scientists conducted genetic sequencing on oil-exposed blue crabs to identify genes involved in the blue crabs’ short-term responses to oil.