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.
Scientists observed in laboratory experiments the formation of extracellular polymeric substances (EPS, a natural microorganism excretion) when phytoplankton and their associated bacteria were exposed to Corexit dispersant.
Scientists working in the Gulf of Mexico have found that contaminants from the massive 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill lingered in the subsurface water for months after oil on the surface had been swept up or dispersed.
Researchers out of Columbia University’s Earth Institute have found a new and unexpected biological phenomenon in the Gulf of Mexico: that communities of phytoplankton are thriving above natural oil seeps.
Scientists compared phytoplankton time-series data collected in Louisiana coastal waters after the Deepwater Horizon spill. They found that phytoplankton abundance was significantly lower in 2010 and that the community’s species composition significantly shifted immediately after the spill.
Phytoplankton are active organic carbon producers and help drive the processes that move carbon from the ocean surface to the sea floor. Scientists are investigating impacts from the sudden large input of carbon from the Deepwater Horizon spill on this important biological cycle.