When an oil slick is exposed to sunlight, photo-oxidation processes break the oil down and incorporate oxygen into the petroleum molecules.
Scientists analyzed in situ deep-depth water column measurements before and after the Deepwater Horizon well was capped and calculated degradation rate estimates for 49 hydrocarbons (23% of released spill material) and inferred the rates of an additional 5 hydrocarbons.
Crude oil contains tens of thousands of hydrocarbons, including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) that create unique chemical fingerprints for different types of oil. Dawei “David” Shi uses geochemical analysis techniques in mesocosm studies to track these fingerprints.
Researchers conducted laboratory experiments to assess the lethal and sublethal impacts of weathered and non-weathered crude oil exposure on red drum larvae. The scientists observed a 70% reduction in cardiac output in oil-exposed larvae, even at low oil concentrations.
Study: Dispersant, UV Radiation Increase Oil Spill Impacts on Zooplankton but Food Web Interactions may Reduce Them
Researchers from the University of Texas Marine Science Institute, including students from California and China, assessed impacts of crude oil, dispersant, and natural phenomena on zooplankton from the Gulf of Mexico.
Scientists from Louisiana State University evaluated bursting bubbles as a pathway for hydrocarbons to move from the sea into the air and they investigated the influence of Corexit 9500A on this process.
A team of scientists from the University of Texas Marine Science Institute, including students from California and China, assessed the effects of crude oil exposure on adult and larval gelatinous zooplankton species – some commonly referred to as jellyfish.
Through a GoMRI RFP-II grant-funded study “Effect of Photochemistry on Biotransformation of Crude Oil,” will look closely at how light impacts surface oil.