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.
Researchers developed the first transcriptomic database for mahi-mahi embryos and larvae exposed to oil from the Deepwater Horizon incident. The team assembled over 60,000 transcripts, identified over 30,000 gene sequences, and observed 2,345 genes that differed significantly after exposure to weathered oil.
Alabama researchers measured the nitrogen removal capacity of marsh sediments and compared it to sediments from subtidal unvegetated mudflats, which are what the marsh becomes when it erodes.
Researchers in Florida and Louisiana extended a Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) of fiddler crabs and periwinkle snails after the Deepwater Horizon incident to assess marsh recovery from oiling. The team found that fiddler crabs, the more mobile of the two species, had mostly recovered by 30 months in terms of size, density, and species composition.
Researchers used naturally occurring radioisotopes to quantify the footprint of sedimented marine oil snow on the Gulf of Mexico seafloor following the Deepwater Horizon incident.
Researchers assessed various structures of clay nanotubes or halloysites, which are being studied for their potential in oil spill emulsification. They tested the nanotubes to identify which structures generated the most stable emulsions and smallest oil droplets and if catalytic reactions improved at the oil-water interface.
Researchers used population models to investigate how reduced survival and fertility after environmental disturbances, such as an oil spill, might affect sperm whale populations. Model simulations indicated that the magnitude of a disturbance had a stronger impact on recovery from lethal and sublethal effects than its duration.
Researchers analyzed simulated interactions of oil droplets and marine particle aggregates to understand how they could affect the behavior of an oil spill. The scientists found that the attachment of oil droplets to particle aggregates changed the distribution of oil droplet sizes over time scales of hours.
Researchers from the United States, Australia, and Europe conducted mesocosm experiments to assess how larval reef fishes respond physiologically and cognitively to low crude oil concentrations. The team observed that polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), at levels recorded in industrialized sections of tropical coral reefs worldwide, increased larvae mortality and stunted growth rates.
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.