Scientists with the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI) have been investigating solvent-free formulations to improve the safety and efficiency of dispersant technologies used in oil spill response. One promising area involves halloysite clay nanotubes.
Oil from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon incident moved from deep waters to coastal shorelines, overwhelming their natural defenses which, in turn, slowed or prevented their recovery. Scientists with the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI) have been assessing the health of these complex environments that experience stressors from multiple sources, providing information that can inform response decisions during future disturbances.
Oil from the Deepwater Horizon incident and the chemical dispersants applied during response efforts affected many ecologically and economically important fish species in the Gulf of Mexico.
Large environmental disasters can have a wide range of impacts on communities in affected areas, yet we have a limited understanding about how disasters affect public health.
Here are four recent studies that highlight their findings, which help improve our understanding about the spill’s possible sublethal effects on fish and establish a new baseline of data that researchers can use for future studies of Gulf of Mexico fishes.
Scientists conducted a year-long mesocosm experiment to assess if the expansion of tropical black mangroves (Avicennia germinans) into Gulf of Mexico saltmarshes dominated by temperate cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora) affected marsh response to oiling.
Scientists who monitored large marine mammals with Passive Acoustic Monitoring (PAM) technology during and following Deepwater Horizon were able to estimate population densities for the cryptic pygmy sperm and dwarf sperm whales (Kogia species).
Scientists conducted laboratory experiments to learn more about particle emissions when bubbles on an oil slick burst. They observed that bubbles bursting on slicks containing crude oil and dispersant mixtures aerosolize micro-sized droplets (diameter is one thousandth of a millimeter) and nano-sized droplets (diameter is one billionth of a meter).
Researchers conducted a survey of more than 2,500 U.S. Gulf Coast residents to learn how their lives have been affected since Deepwater Horizon.
Scientists conducted rolling table experiments to improve our understanding of how marine oil snow forms and to provide input parameters for models that predict oil transport via sinking marine snow.