Education and outreach products generated by the Dispersion Research on Oil: Physics and Plankton Studies (DROPPS) consortium.

Grad Student Xue Uses Light to Characterize Oil Plume Fragmentation Xinzhi adjusts the laser optics for particle image velocimetry experiments. (Provided by Xinzhi Xue)

Laser light and high-speed cameras can help researchers observe the behavior of oil droplets within a laboratory-simulated oil plume and interpret how the oil subsequently may move through the water column. Xinzhi Xue uses lasers to non-invasively probe inside the oil plume and get a detailed look at the oil fragmentation process. “This knowledge is crucial Read More

Video: DROPPS Researcher Delivers Televised Talk on Oil Degradation 3783

In April 20, 2010, the Gulf of Mexico had its greatest mishap in record time with the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, wherein an estimated 1,000 barrels of oil (peaking at more 60,000 barrels) per day were released into the Gulf for 87 days, for a total of 3.19 million barrels for the entire duration. The Read More

Video: Where Did the Oil Go? Dispatches_Logo

To the causal observer, it’s hard to believe that the Gulf of Mexico is still under stress six years after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The flotilla of boats surrounding the BP blowout site is gone – and oil exploration has resumed in the Gulf. Tourists have returned to pristine beaches. Commercial and recreational fishing Read More

CARTHE and DROPPS Scientists Team Up for UT Summer Science Program 3163

DROPPS Consortium had another successful collaboration with CARTHE for the UT Summer Science program! We taught 3rd-4th graders about how oil spill scientists sometimes use drift cards to study oil spills to see where currents may carry the oil. Then they designed their own scientific drift cards and tossed them off the UT Pier! Stay Read More

Smithsonian Highlights Oil Spill Research on Jellyfish Jellyfish_1318

Jellyfish push water in and out of their bells to propel themselves forward. Researchers are investigating if and how the small underwater waves and currents created by Jellyfish movements can help break up oil spilled in marine ecosystems. The Smithsonian posted an article featuring scientist Brad Gemmell’s research about interactions of gelatinous zooplankton with oil. Read More

Grad Student Li Creates Waves for Oil Dispersion Studies n an acrylic wave tank he designed and built himself at the Johns Hopkins Laboratory for Experimental Fluid Mechanics, Cheng observes a mechanically generated breaking wave and its associated turbulent flows. (Photo credit: Trevor Holmgren)

For Cheng Li, the beauty of our oceans is precious. He wants to protect that beauty by improving the tracking of and response to oil spills. Using a customized, self-built wave tank, he investigates the interactions between oil, dispersant, and breaking waves. Data from his wave experiments will contribute to better predictions about where and Read More

Texas Students Put Oil Spill Cleanup Methods to the Test Candace Peyton, project manager of DROPPS, assists middle school students with experiments to test effectiveness of dispersing as an oil cleanup method. (Photo by: J. Findley)

The methods used to remove the oil from the Gulf of Mexico – skimming, soaking, and dispersing – were as much in the news as the Deepwater Horizon incident itself.  Three years later, a group of twenty-six middle school students conducted experiments to compare these methods as part of a week-long University of Texas Summer Read More

DROPPS Global Platform for Ocean Research: NOAA’s Science on a Sphere Visitors attend a Science on a Sphere presentation at the Bay Education Center

All the world’s a stage – literally – as oceanic, atmospheric, and geologic conditions and events come to life on a “revolving” globe. General public visitors attend a Science on a Sphere presentation at the Bay Education Center. (Photo by Jackie Hattenbach) Researchers and science educators are using visualizations of oil spills, tsunamis, and hurricanes Read More