An international science team studying oil spill effects on marine ecosystems completed 12 research expeditions over seven years and produced the first fisheries-independent, multinational Gulf-wide fish survey.
When the Deepwater Horizon incident occurred, not much was known about how conditions in the deep sea would affect oil biodegradation. Juan Viamonte uses high-pressure reactors that simulate conditions at depth to observe microbial degradation and help predict what might happen should another deep-ocean oil spill occur.
Researchers examined metal exposure patterns in otoliths from six offshore fish species with varying health status to identify changes corresponding with the Deepwater Horizon incident.
Researchers designed an automated network-based classification method to process large acoustic datasets and identify distinct dolphin click types without requiring prior knowledge of their distinguishing features. The method identified seven click types from over 50 million echolocation clicks recorded in the Gulf of Mexico – six clicks of unknown origin and one click belonging to the Risso’s dolphin species.
Researchers analyzed the metabolic capability of three Gulf of Mexico fish species after being exposed to toxic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) compounds. Florida pompano exhibited faster biotransformation rates for hydroxylated naphthalene and phenanthrene compounds than red drum and southern flounder.
The 2010 Deepwater Horizon incident highlighted new challenges and science gaps in our understanding of and ability to respond to deep-water oil releases. Of particular importance is how highly pressurized oil and gas behaves in a deep-sea environment.
Scientists tested a new analytical method for a fast and comprehensive characterization of organic compounds in marine sediments. The Rapid Analyte Detection and Reconnaissance (RADAR) method couples atmospheric pressure photoionization in positive ion mode (APPI-P) with Fourier transform ion cyclotron mass spectrometry (FTICR-MS).
The Ixtoc I blowout happened in the Bay of Campeche over thirty-five years ago, so why are scientists studying this spill now? Because understanding what happened to Ixtoc I oil may help predict if and how Deepwater Horizon oil will degrade, persist, and impact northern Gulf of Mexico ecosystems over the next few decades.