Category Archives: Publication Highlights

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Publication Highlights Study Shows Bursting Bubbles Can Redistribute Oil Droplets into a Water Column Dr. Howard Stone (right), the Donald R. Dixon ’69 and Elizabeth W. Dixon Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Princeton University, and gradute student Jie Feng (left) observe bubbles in a tank. (Photo credit: Frank Wojciechowski, Princeton University)

Scientists using a high-speed camera to observe bubbles bursting have gained new insight into the hydrodynamics of complex fluids. They found that collapsing bubbles emit a downward spray into the water and that the presence of a surfactant can facilitate the transport of tiny, submicron-diameter oil droplets into the underlying water column. While this phenomenon Read More

Publication Highlights Study Confirms Methane-Eating Bacteria Contributed to Carbon Entering Food Web 2414

Scientists confirmed that methane-derived carbon, likely from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill entered the food web via small particles through a pathway known as methanotrophy. They published their findings in the December 2013 issue of Environmental Science and Technology Letters: Fossil carbon in particulate organic matter in the Gulf of Mexico following the Deepwater Horizon Read More

Publication Highlights Study: Wave Data Can Improve Forecasts that Help Search and Rescue Operations and Oil Spill Response – August 26, 2013 Wave_Data_590

Scientists with the Norwegian Meteorological Institute are quantifying wave effects for use in ocean models that predict the direction of surface water movement.  Calculations that go into these models have important implications and relevant applications: improving them can provide better information in time-critical situations such as accidents and disasters. Researchers found that “the predictability of Read More

Publication Highlights Study Describes Use of Oil Fingerprinting to Identify Source of 2012 Gulf Sheen – August 2013 oil_fingerprinting_580

Scientists from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and University of California, Santa Barbara used a novel fingerprinting technique to identify the source of oil sheens that appeared in late 2012 near the site of the Deepwater Horizon disaster. ←After researchers retrieved oil-coated screens used to collect samples from surface sheens, each screen was sectioned into several Read More

Publication Highlights Study Describes Mechanics of Dispersant Adsorption at Oil-Water Interface Study_Dispersant_Adsorption_578

Scientists are trying to develop more stable, safer dispersants.  Carnegie Mellon researchers examining the chemical interaction of Tween 80 (a primary component in typical dispersants) at the point where oil and water meet have characterized dispersants behavior in variable test environments. They observed reorganization, irreversible adsorption, and high values of surface elasticity. The researchers discuss Read More

Publication Highlights Study Finds PAHs in Mississippi Seafood below Levels of Concern Mississippi State Chemical Laboratory residue manager and paper co-author Christina Childers analyzes data from seafood samples for PAH contamination using the Agilent 7000B Triple Quadrupole GC/MS/MS system. (Photo courtesy of Mississippi State University)

Scientists studying oil impacts on fish, shrimp, crab, and oysters from coastal Mississippi waters one year post-spill found PAH levels were below Levels of Concern (LOC) established jointly by NOAA/FDA/Gulf Coast states by “at least 2 orders of magnitude.” They also found that PAH levels were similar to those found in “commonly consumed processed foods Read More

Publication Highlights Study Links Negative Biological Impacts to Oil-Exposed Killifish This representative image of an un-hatched Gulf killifish embryo at 21 days post-fertilization appears underdeveloped, having characteristic features of PAH exposure such as cardiac edema. (Image provided by Benjamin Dubansky)

Scientists from Louisiana State University, University of California-Davis, and Clemson University, studying Deepwater Horizon impacts on killifish from oiled Louisiana estuaries, found that adult fish exhibited genetic responses that indicate physical and reproductive impairment over one year post spill. Laboratory tests on killifish embryos exposed to oiled sediments showed developmental defects.  These results were published Read More

Publication Highlights Study Shows Bacteria Contributed to Consumption of 200,000 tons of Oil and Gas  Oil slick, photo provided by John Kessler.

Scientists who tracked deep underwater oil and gas plumes after the Deepwater Horizon incident concluded that the respiration of dissolved and trapped hydrocarbons resulted in reduced dissolved oxygen concentrations from a bloom of hydrocarbon-eating bacteria. These naturally occurring microbes then consumed an estimated 200,000 tons of hydrocarbons, and the study suggests that the use of Read More

Publication Highlights Study: Dispersants Can Move Hydrocarbons Faster and Deeper into Gulf Sand Markus Huettel holds a sediment core sample from Pensacola Beach, Florida. Researchers used sands from this area for their study.

Scientists studying the fate of oil from the Deepwater Horizon incident published their findings in the November 2012 edition of Public Library of Science (PLoS ONE):  Dispersants as used in response to the MC252-spill lead to higher mobility of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in oil-contaminated Gulf of Mexico sand. Researchers concluded that the addition of dispersants Read More

Publication Highlights Coastal Alabama Marine Life Returns to Pre-Spill Numbers  Marine technicians Jennifer Hemphill, Matthew Metcalf and Sara Kerner set fyke nets (traps used to collect marsh-associated finfish and shellfish) near Point-aux-Pins, AL. (Photo credit: Ryan M. Moody)

Biologists studying the impacts of oil on marine species living in coastal Alabama salt marshes published their results in the March 2013 edition of the Public Library of Science (PLoS ONE): Interannual recruitment dynamics for resident and transient marsh species: Evidence for a lack of impact by the Macondo oil spill. Scientists found that oil Read More