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17 November 2016
Study finds widespread land losses from Gulf oil spill
A new study shows dramatic, widespread shoreline loss in Louisiana marshlands most heavily coated with oil during the 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Following the spill, the length of shoreline that receded more than 13 feet (4 meters) a year quadrupled compared to the year before the spill. The land losses occurred mainly in areas where oil had washed ashore during the spill.
20 June 2016
Observing bubbles from underwater gas seeps (video)
Natural oil and gas seeps exist on the ocean floor all over the world. Although humans have known about and exploited these natural resources for thousands of years, scientists know little about how oil and gas droplets disperse in deep water and how they affect underwater ecosystems.
17 December 2015
Tiny fuel spills at gas stations can contaminate soil
The oil or gas leaks that grab headlines tend to be big events such as the Deepwater Horizon spill in 2010, but smaller-scale spills can be a problem, too, new research finds. Even a few drops dribbled from the nozzle of a gas station fuel pump can penetrate concrete and contaminate soil and groundwater below, according to researchers at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland.
In the past, regulators and researchers assumed that most spilled fuel would evaporate into the atmosphere, said Markus Hilpert, a hydrologist at Johns Hopkins University. The possibility that small fuel droplets might seep through the concrete pad under a gas station to the soil and water below was largely ignored, he said.
30 May 2014
Sonar could spot oil spills hidden by Arctic ice
By Alexandra Branscombe WASHINGTON, DC –Melting summer sea ice is opening up new shipping and drilling opportunities in the Arctic, bringing with them the potential for oil spills that could become trapped under the remaining sea ice and go unseen by current oil-detection methods. Now, a team of scientists is investigating a way to use sound waves to find this elusive oil. Scientists from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts …
14 December 2010
Deepwater Horizon oil spill: Scientists respond with research
Often research is driven by a desire to understand the fine details of a specific process; any application is often years in the future. But when the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig atop the Macondo oil well exploded on April 20, scientists used their tools to analyze an immediate problem.
28 October 2010
Beaches can harbor hidden oil long after spills
Crude oil from a spill can remain trapped for decades under a beach’s surface. A 2001 survey of beaches along Alaska’s Prince William Sound estimated that about 100 tons of oil from the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill remained in the beaches’ lower layers, and much of it is still there, researchers say. A new study of one of those beaches found that the reason the oil becomes trapped in the …
12 July 2010
Hurricanes and Oil Will Mix
A hurricane as strong as Katrina may soon be on a collision course with the Gulf oil spill to create a “double-whammy of worst-case scenarios.” That’s the next potential nightmare looming ahead according to Heidi Cullen, one of several scientists who addressed a briefing on 30 June for Congressional staff. “The Deepwater Horizon oil spill is a worst-case scenario. And, I would say that the fear in the back of …
1 July 2010
(CORRECTED*) Gulf Gusher: Oil-spill science has advanced, but data is sparse
Since the Deepwater Horizon oil-drilling platform sank on April 22, millions of gallons of oil and gas have spewed into the Gulf of Mexico. As efforts to staunch the undersea flow continue, scientists (including many AGU members) are working round-the-clock to determine where the oil is going, what’s happening to it, and how it is affecting the environment. Much is unknown about what the effects will be from a spill …