WorldWideScience

Sample records for unit deepwater horizon

  1. 33 CFR 147.T08-849 - DEEPWATER HORIZON Mobile Offshore Drilling Unit Safety Zone.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... 33 Navigation and Navigable Waters 2 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false DEEPWATER HORIZON Mobile Offshore... DEEPWATER HORIZON Mobile Offshore Drilling Unit Safety Zone. (a) Location. All areas within 500 meters (1640... area surrounds the DEEPWATER HORIZON, a Mobile Offshore Drilling Unit (MODU), that sank in...

  2. Deepwater Horizon - Baseline Dataset

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — In 2010, the Deepwater Horizon oil spill occurred in the Gulf of Mexico and the Natural Resources Damage Assessment (NRDA) was initiated to determine the extent of...

  3. 75 FR 79961 - Temporary Suspension of Certain Oil Spill Response Time Requirements To Support Deepwater Horizon...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-12-21

    ... Mobile Offshore Drilling Unit (MODU) ``Deepwater Horizon'' exploded and sank, causing an unprecedented... the Deepwater Horizon SONS determined, after consulting with appropriate Federal and State agencies... manner to recover the oil released from the Deepwater Horizon SONS. (Memorandum from Rear Admiral...

  4. Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill: Preliminary Assessment of Federal Financial Risks and Cost Reimbursement and Notification Policies and Procedures

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-11-12

    Horizon (the Deepwater Horizon oil spill). The Deepwater Horizon was leased by BP America Production Company (BP) as part of the Macondo project.1 152...well to which the Deepwater Horizon was attached when it exploded. In order to coordinate the federal response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the...On April 20, 2010, an oil spill of national significance in the Gulf of Mexico followed an explosion on the mobile offshore drilling unit Deepwater

  5. Deepwater Horizon Seafood Safety Oracle Database (2010)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — In 2010, the Deepwater Horizon oil spill occurred in the Gulf of Mexico. In response to this spill, the National Marine Fisheries Service initiated a data collection...

  6. 75 FR 51943 - Safety Zone; DEEPWATER HORIZON at Mississippi Canyon 252 Outer Continental Shelf MODU in the Gulf...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-08-24

    ... SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 147 RIN 1625-AA00 Safety Zone; DEEPWATER HORIZON at Mississippi Canyon 252... temporary safety zone around the riser for the DEEPWATER HORIZON, a Mobile Offshore Drilling Unit (MODU), at... zone around the riser for the DEEPWATER HORIZON, a Mobile Offshore Drilling Unit (MODU), which...

  7. On the Deepwater Horizon drop size distributions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ryerson, T. B.; Atlas, E. L.; Blake, D. R.; De Gouw, J. A.; Warneke, C.; Peischl, J.; Brock, C. A.; McKeen, S. A.

    2014-12-01

    Model simulations of the fate of gas and oil released following the Deepwater Horizon blowout in 2012 depend critically on the assumed drop size distributions. We use direct observations of surfacing time, surfacing location, and atmospheric chemical composition to infer an average drop size distribution for June 10, 2012, providing robust first-order constraints on parameterizations in models. We compare the inferred drop size distribution to published work on Deepwater Horizon and discuss the ability of this approach to determine the efficacy of subsurface dispersant injection.

  8. Ecological impacts of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill

    Science.gov (United States)

    The Deepwater Horizon oil spill (DWH) was the largest environmental disaster and response effort in United States history, with nearly 800 million liters of crude oil spilled. Vast areas of the Gulf of Mexico were contaminated with oil, including deep ocean communities and over 1...

  9. Ecological Impacts during the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

    Science.gov (United States)

    The Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill was the largest spill and response effort in United States history. Nearly 800 million L of oil was spilled in the Gulf of Mexico, and nearly 7 million L of chemical dispersants were applied in at the ocean surface and subsea1. The DWH spill ...

  10. Deepwater Horizon Seafood Safety Response - Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Seafood Safety Response

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — In the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010, there was concern about the risk to human health through consumption of contaminated seafood from the...

  11. Oil sheen weathering post Deepwater Horizon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kellermann, M. Y.; Redmond, M. C.; Reddy, C. M.; Aeppli, C.; Nelson, R. K.; Valentine, D. L.

    2013-12-01

    A recently published study identified the source of the reoccurred oil sheens close to the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) disaster site as a finite contamination most likely derived from tanks and pits on the DWH wreckage itself. Here we use geochemical fingerprinting and microbial community analysis to better understand the fate and weathering processes affecting these surface oils. Both, alkanes and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are shown to reflect a linear decrease of hydrocarbon compounds with increasing distance to the DWH wreckage site (equivalent to exposure time on the sea surface). These results indicate that in the early stage of weathering the combined effects of dissolution and evaporation dominate the degradation of these surface oils. Sheen microbial communities were dominated by Cyanobacteria, Planctomycetes, Verrucomicrobia, Flavobacteria, Alphaproteobacteria, and Deltaproteobacteria, with low relative abundances of Gammaproteobacteria likely to be hydrocarbon degraders (no more than 15% of sequences in each sample). However, some of these Gammaproteobacteria were closely related to putative hydrocarbon degraders observed in abundance in deep water plumes during the primary Deepwater Horizon spill, suggesting that very low levels of biodegradation may be also occurring. This in situ weathering experiment provides new insights in hydrocarbon weathering dynamics and shows how chemical and biological changes can potentially be masked by large evaporative losses of compounds smaller than C18 n-alkanes.

  12. Air Monitoring Data for BP Spill/Deepwater Horizon

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency — The Deepwater Horizon oil spill (also referred to as the BP oil spill) began on 20 April 2010 in the Gulf of Mexico on the BP-operated Macondo Prospect. Following...

  13. Air Sampling Data for BP Spill/Deepwater Horizon

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency — The Deepwater Horizon oil spill (also referred to as the BP oil spill) began on 20 April 2010 in the Gulf of Mexico on the BP-operated Macondo Prospect. Following...

  14. Waste Sampling Data for BP Spill/Deepwater Horizon

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency — The Deepwater Horizon oil spill (also referred to as the BP oil spill) began on 20 April 2010 in the Gulf of Mexico on the BP-operated Macondo Prospect. Following...

  15. Water Sampling Data for BP Spill/Deepwater Horizon

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency — The Deepwater Horizon oil spill (also referred to as the BP oil spill) began on 20 April 2010 in the Gulf of Mexico on the BP-operated Macondo Prospect. Following...

  16. Sediment Sampling Data for BP Spill/Deepwater Horizon

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency — The Deepwater Horizon oil spill (also referred to as the BP oil spill) began on 20 April 2010 in the Gulf of Mexico on the BP-operated Macondo Prospect. Following...

  17. Surface Water Sampling Data for BP Spill/Deepwater Horizon

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency — The Deepwater Horizon oil spill (also referred to as the BP oil spill) began on 20 April 2010 in the Gulf of Mexico on the BP-operated Macondo Prospect. Following...

  18. 77 FR 23741 - DEEPWATER HORIZON Oil Spill; Final Phase I Early Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-04-20

    ... Fish and Wildlife Service DEEPWATER HORIZON Oil Spill; Final Phase I Early Restoration Plan and... DEEPWATER HORIZON Oil Spill (Framework Agreement), notice is hereby given that ] the Federal and State... the DEEPWATER HORIZON oil spill, which occurred on or about April 20, 2010, in the Gulf of Mexico....

  19. 75 FR 37712 - Temporary Suspension of Certain Oil Spill Response Time Requirements To Support Deepwater Horizon...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-06-30

    ... resources are relocated in support of the Deepwater Horizon SONS response. By providing oil spill removal... of Mexico to aid in the response to the Deepwater Horizon SONS. The rule also provides notice that the Federal On-Scene Coordinator for the Deepwater Horizon SONS has requested the Armed Forces...

  20. 75 FR 29397 - National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-05-26

    ... Drilling By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States... National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling (the ``Commission''). Sec... against, and mitigating the impact of, oil spills associated with offshore drilling, taking...

  1. Ecological Impacts During the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Response

    Science.gov (United States)

    The Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill was the largest environmental disaster and response effort in U.S. history, with nearly 800 million liters of crude oil spilled. Vast areas of the Gulf of Mexico were contaminated with oil, including deep-ocean communities and over 1,600 kilo...

  2. Deepwater Horizon oil spill impacts on Alabama beaches

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. S. Hayworth

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available From mid June 2010 to early August 2010, the white sandy beaches along Alabama's Gulf coast were inundated with crude oil discharged from the Deepwater Horizon well. The long-term consequences of this environmental catastrophe are still unfolding. Although BP has attempted to clean up some of these beaches, there still exist many unanswered questions regarding the physical, chemical, and ecological state of the oil contaminated beach system. In this paper, we present our understanding of what is known and known to be unknown with regard to the current state of Alabama's beaches in the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon disaster. Motivated by our observations of the evolving distribution of oil in Alabama's beaches and BP's clean-up activities, we offer our thoughts on the lessons learned from this oil spill disaster.

  3. Deepwater Horizon oil spill impacts on Alabama beaches

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. S. Hayworth

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available From mid June 2010 to early August 2010, the white sandy beaches along Alabama's Gulf coast were inundated with crude oil discharged from the Deepwater Horizon well. The long-term consequences of this environmental catastrophe are still unfolding. Although BP has attempted to clean up some of these beaches, there still exist many unanswered questions regarding the physical, chemical, and ecological state of the oil contaminated beach system. In this paper, we present our understanding of what is known and known to be unknown with regard to the current state of Alabama's beaches in the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon disaster. Motivated by our observations of the evolving distribution of oil in Alabama's beaches and BP's clean-up activities, we offer our thoughts on the lessons learned from this oil spill disaster.

  4. Airborne remote sensing for Deepwater Horizon oil spill emergency response

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kroutil, Robert T.; Shen, Sylvia S.; Lewis, Paul E.; Miller, David P.; Cardarelli, John; Thomas, Mark; Curry, Timothy; Kudaraskus, Paul

    2010-08-01

    On April 28, 2010, the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Airborne Spectral Photometric Environmental Collection Technology (ASPECT) aircraft was deployed to Gulfport, Mississippi to provide airborne remotely sensed air monitoring and situational awareness data and products in response to the Deepwater Horizon oil rig disaster. The ASPECT aircraft was released from service on August 9, 2010 after having flown over 75 missions that included over 250 hours of flight operation. ASPECT's initial mission responsibility was to provide air quality monitoring (i.e., identification of vapor species) during various oil burning operations. The ASPECT airborne wide-area infrared remote sensing spectral data was used to evaluate the hazard potential of vapors being produced from open water oil burns near the Deepwater Horizon rig site. Other significant remote sensing data products and innovations included the development of an advanced capability to correctly identify, locate, characterize, and quantify surface oil that could reach beaches and wetland areas. This advanced identification product provided the Incident Command an improved capability to locate surface oil in order to improve the effectiveness of oil skimmer vessel recovery efforts directed by the US Coast Guard. This paper discusses the application of infrared spectroscopy and multispectral infrared imagery to address significant issues associated with this national crisis. More specifically, this paper addresses the airborne remote sensing capabilities, technology, and data analysis products developed specifically to optimize the resources and capabilities of the Deepwater Horizon Incident Command structure personnel and their remediation efforts.

  5. Physics in the News: The Deepwater Horizon Disaster

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bartlett, Albert A.

    2011-02-01

    On April 20, 2010, there were explosions and fire on the drilling "ship" the Deepwater Horizon, which was drilling for petroleum in the Gulf of Mexico about 70 kilometers south of the Louisiana coast. The spectacular fires ultimately caused the Deepwater Horizon to sink on April 22. There were 126 people on the ship before the fire. After the sinking, 11 people were missing and presumed dead. After the ship sank, several hundred cubic meters of petroleum began to emerge each day from the broken underwater piping on the sea floor. The petroleum rose to the surface, where the winds caused it to drift toward the shores of the Gulf. The oil slick is a great threat to the coastal ecosystems. "President Obama…called the scene unfolding in the Gulf a `massive and potentially unprecedented environmental disaster.'" Not only is this an environmental disaster, it is a big setback for deepwater drilling for petroleum and for our nation's efforts to reduce our dependence on foreign oil.

  6. Environmental effects of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill: A review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beyer, Jonny; Trannum, Hilde C; Bakke, Torgeir; Hodson, Peter V; Collier, Tracy K

    2016-09-15

    The Deepwater Horizon oil spill constituted an ecosystem-level injury in the northern Gulf of Mexico. Much oil spread at 1100-1300m depth, contaminating and affecting deepwater habitats. Factors such as oil-biodegradation, ocean currents and response measures (dispersants, burning) reduced coastal oiling. Still, >2100km of shoreline and many coastal habitats were affected. Research demonstrates that oiling caused a wide range of biological effects, although worst-case impact scenarios did not materialize. Biomarkers in individual organisms were more informative about oiling stress than population and community indices. Salt marshes and seabird populations were hard hit, but were also quite resilient to oiling effects. Monitoring demonstrated little contamination of seafood. Certain impacts are still understudied, such as effects on seagrass communities. Concerns of long-term impacts remain for large fish species, deep-sea corals, sea turtles and cetaceans. These species and their habitats should continue to receive attention (monitoring and research) for years to come.

  7. 75 FR 65309 - National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-22

    ... National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling AGENCY: Department of... meeting of the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling (the..., and mitigate the impact of, any oil spills associated with offshore drilling in the future....

  8. 75 FR 56526 - National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-09-16

    ... National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling AGENCY: Department of... meeting of the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling (the... with offshore drilling in the future. The Commission is composed of seven members appointed by...

  9. 75 FR 60097 - National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-09-29

    ... National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling AGENCY: Department of... meeting of the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling (the... associated with offshore drilling in the future. The Commission is composed of seven members appointed by...

  10. 75 FR 47584 - National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-08-06

    ... National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling AGENCY: Department of... meeting for the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling (the..., and mitigate the impact of, any oil spills associated with offshore drilling in the future....

  11. 75 FR 37783 - National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-06-30

    ... National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling AGENCY: Department of... meeting of the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling (the... offshore drilling in the future. The Commission is composed of seven members appointed by the President...

  12. 75 FR 39518 - National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling; Correction

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-09

    ... From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling; Correction AGENCY: Office..., 2010, of the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling, (75...

  13. Thresholds in marsh resilience to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silliman, Brian R.; Dixon, Philip M.; Wobus, Cameron; He, Qiang; Daleo, Pedro; Hughes, Brent B.; Rissing, Matthew; Willis, Jonathan M.; Hester, Mark W.

    2016-09-01

    Ecosystem boundary retreat due to human-induced pressure is a generally observed phenomenon. However, studies that document thresholds beyond which internal resistance mechanisms are overwhelmed are uncommon. Following the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill, field studies from a few sites suggested that oiling of salt marshes could lead to a biogeomorphic feedback where plant death resulted in increased marsh erosion. We tested for spatial generality of and thresholds in this effect across 103 salt marsh sites spanning ~430 kilometers of shoreline in coastal Louisiana, Alabama, and Mississippi, using data collected as part of the natural resource damage assessment (NRDA). Our analyses revealed a threshold for oil impacts on marsh edge erosion, with higher erosion rates occurring for ~1–2 years after the spill at sites with the highest amounts of plant stem oiling (90–100%). These results provide compelling evidence showing large-scale ecosystem loss following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. More broadly, these findings provide rare empirical evidence identifying a geomorphologic threshold in the resistance of an ecosystem to increasing intensity of human-induced disturbance.

  14. Thresholds in marsh resilience to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silliman, Brian R.; Dixon, Philip M.; Wobus, Cameron; He, Qiang; Daleo, Pedro; Hughes, Brent B.; Rissing, Matthew; Willis, Jonathan M.; Hester, Mark W.

    2016-01-01

    Ecosystem boundary retreat due to human-induced pressure is a generally observed phenomenon. However, studies that document thresholds beyond which internal resistance mechanisms are overwhelmed are uncommon. Following the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill, field studies from a few sites suggested that oiling of salt marshes could lead to a biogeomorphic feedback where plant death resulted in increased marsh erosion. We tested for spatial generality of and thresholds in this effect across 103 salt marsh sites spanning ~430 kilometers of shoreline in coastal Louisiana, Alabama, and Mississippi, using data collected as part of the natural resource damage assessment (NRDA). Our analyses revealed a threshold for oil impacts on marsh edge erosion, with higher erosion rates occurring for ~1–2 years after the spill at sites with the highest amounts of plant stem oiling (90–100%). These results provide compelling evidence showing large-scale ecosystem loss following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. More broadly, these findings provide rare empirical evidence identifying a geomorphologic threshold in the resistance of an ecosystem to increasing intensity of human-induced disturbance. PMID:27679956

  15. 33 CFR 155.T150 - Temporary suspension of requirements to permit support of deepwater horizon spill response.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... requirements to permit support of deepwater horizon spill response. 155.T150 Section 155.T150 Navigation and... requirements to permit support of deepwater horizon spill response. (a) Applicability. This section applies to... (OSC), as defined in 40 CFR 300.5, in support of the response to the Deepwater Horizon Spill...

  16. 40 CFR 112.22 - Temporary Suspension of Response Planning Level Requirements to Support Deepwater Horizon Spill...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... Planning Level Requirements to Support Deepwater Horizon Spill Response. 112.22 Section 112.22 Protection... Deepwater Horizon Spill Response. (a) Applicability. This section applies to any person who owns or operates... Deepwater Horizon Spill of National Significance; and (2) Any facility described in § 112.20 of this...

  17. 75 FR 43821 - Safety Zone; DEEPWATER HORIZON Response Staging Area in the Vicinity of Shell Beach, Hopedale, LA

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-27

    ... SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 Safety Zone; DEEPWATER HORIZON Response Staging Area in the Vicinity... Hopedale, LA in response to the DEEPWATER HORIZON oil spill. Vessels must travel at a safe speed and... This response staging area is in support of the DEEPWATER HORIZON oil spill clean-up effort....

  18. 33 CFR 154.T150 - Temporary suspension of requirements to permit support of deepwater horizon spill response.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... requirements to permit support of deepwater horizon spill response. 154.T150 Section 154.T150 Navigation and... support of deepwater horizon spill response. (a) Applicability. This section applies to— (1) Any facility... support of the response to the Deepwater Horizon Spill of National Significance; and (2) Any...

  19. Organic Aerosol Formation Downwind from the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Gouw, J. A.; Middlebrook, A. M.; Warneke, C.; Ahmadov, R.; Atlas, E. L.; Bahreini, R.; Blake, D. R.; Brock, C. A.; Brioude, J.; Fahey, D. W.; Fehsenfeld, F. C.; Holloway, J. S.; Le Henaff, M.; Lueb, R. A.; McKeen, S. A.; Meagher, J. F.; Murphy, D. M.; Paris, C.; Parrish, D. D.; Perring, A. E.; Pollack, I. B.; Ravishankara, A. R.; Robinson, A. L.; Ryerson, T. B.; Schwarz, J. P.; Spackman, J. R.; Srinivasan, A.; Watts, L. A.

    2011-03-01

    A large fraction of atmospheric aerosols are derived from organic compounds with various volatilities. A National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) WP-3D research aircraft made airborne measurements of the gaseous and aerosol composition of air over the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico that occurred from April to August 2010. A narrow plume of hydrocarbons was observed downwind of DWH that is attributed to the evaporation of fresh oil on the sea surface. A much wider plume with high concentrations of organic aerosol (>25 micrograms per cubic meter) was attributed to the formation of secondary organic aerosol (SOA) from unmeasured, less volatile hydrocarbons that were emitted from a wider area around DWH. These observations provide direct and compelling evidence for the importance of formation of SOA from less volatile hydrocarbons.

  20. Tracking hydrocarbon plume transport and biodegradation at Deepwater Horizon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Camilli, Richard; Reddy, Christopher M; Yoerger, Dana R; Van Mooy, Benjamin A S; Jakuba, Michael V; Kinsey, James C; McIntyre, Cameron P; Sylva, Sean P; Maloney, James V

    2010-10-08

    The Deepwater Horizon blowout is the largest offshore oil spill in history. We present results from a subsurface hydrocarbon survey using an autonomous underwater vehicle and a ship-cabled sampler. Our findings indicate the presence of a continuous plume of oil, more than 35 kilometers in length, at approximately 1100 meters depth that persisted for months without substantial biodegradation. Samples collected from within the plume reveal monoaromatic petroleum hydrocarbon concentrations in excess of 50 micrograms per liter. These data indicate that monoaromatic input to this plume was at least 5500 kilograms per day, which is more than double the total source rate of all natural seeps of the monoaromatic petroleum hydrocarbons in the northern Gulf of Mexico. Dissolved oxygen concentrations suggest that microbial respiration rates within the plume were not appreciably more than 1 micromolar oxygen per day.

  1. Incorporation of Deepwater Horizon oil in a terrestrial bird

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonisoli-Alquati, A.; Stouffer, P. C.; Turner, R. E.; Woltmann, S.; Taylor, S. S.

    2016-11-01

    Carbon isotopic evidence revealed Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil entering coastal planktonic and lower terrestrial food webs. The integration of spilled oil into higher terrestrial trophic levels, however, remains uncertain. We measured radiocarbon (14C) and stable carbon (13C) in seaside sparrow (Ammodramus maritimus) feathers and crop contents. Lower 14C and 13C values in feathers and crop contents of birds from contaminated areas indicated incorporation of carbon from oil. Our results, although based on a small sample of birds, thus reveal a food-web link between oil exposure and a terrestrial ecosystem. They also suggest that the reduction in reproductive success previously documented in the same population might be due to the (direct) toxic effect of oil exposure, rather than to (indirect) ecological effects. We recommend future studies test our results by using larger samples of birds from a wider area in order to assess the extent and implications of DWH oil incorporation into the terrestrial food web.

  2. Shoreline oiling from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nixon, Zachary; Zengel, Scott; Baker, Mary; Steinhoff, Marla; Fricano, Gail; Rouhani, Shahrokh; Michel, Jacqueline

    2016-06-15

    We build on previous work to construct a comprehensive database of shoreline oiling exposure from the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) spill by compiling field and remotely-sensed datasets to support oil exposure and injury quantification. We compiled a spatial database of shoreline segments with attributes summarizing habitat, oiling category and timeline. We present new simplified oil exposure classes for both beaches and coastal wetland habitats derived from this database integrating both intensity and persistence of oiling on the shoreline over time. We document oiling along 2113km out of 9545km of surveyed shoreline, an increase of 19% from previously published estimates and representing the largest marine oil spill in history by length of shoreline oiled. These data may be used to generate maps and calculate summary statistics to assist in quantifying and understanding the scope, extent, and spatial distribution of shoreline oil exposure as a result of the DWH incident.

  3. Tracking the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill: A Modeling Perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Yonggang; Weisberg, Robert H.; Hu, Chuanmin; Zheng, Lianyuan

    2011-02-01

    The Deepwater Horizon oil spill was caused by a drilling rig explosion on 20 April 2010 that killed 11 people. It was the largest oil spill in U.S. history and presented an unprecedented threat to Gulf of Mexico marine resources. Although oil gushing to the surface diminished after the well was capped, on 15 July 2010, much remains to be known about the oil and the dispersants beneath the surface, including their trajectories and effects on marine life. A system for tracking the oil, both at the surface and at depth, was needed for mitigation efforts and ship survey guidance. Such a system was implemented immediately after the spill by marshaling numerical model and satellite remote sensing resources available from existing coastal ocean observing activities [e.g., Weisberg et al., 2009]. Analyzing this system's various strengths and weaknesses can help further improve similar systems designed for other emergency responses.

  4. Minimal incorporation of Deepwater Horizon oil by estuarine filter feeders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fry, Brian; Anderson, Laurie C

    2014-03-15

    Natural abundance carbon isotope analyses are sensitive tracers for fates and use of oil in aquatic environments. Use of oil carbon in estuarine food webs should lead to isotope values approaching those of oil itself, -27‰ for stable carbon isotopes reflecting oil origins and -1000‰ for carbon-14 reflecting oil age. To test for transfer of oil from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill into estuarine food webs, filter-feeding barnacles (Balanus sp.) and marsh mussels (Geukensia demissa) were collected from Louisiana estuaries near the site of the oil spill. Carbon-14 analyses of these animals from open waters and oiled marshes showed that oil use was <1% and near detection limits estimated at 0.3% oil incorporation. Respiration studies showed no evidence for enhanced microbial activity in bay waters. Results are consistent with low dietary impacts of oil for filter feeders and little overall impact on respiration in the productive Louisiana estuarine systems.

  5. Weathered Oil and Tar Sampling Data for BP Spill/Deepwater Horizon

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency — The Deepwater Horizon oil spill (also referred to as the BP oil spill) began on 20 April 2010 in the Gulf of Mexico on the BP-operated Macondo Prospect. Following...

  6. Exxon Valdez to Deepwater Horizon: comparable toxicity of both crude oils to fish early life stages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Incardona, John P; Swarts, Tanya L; Edmunds, Richard C; Linbo, Tiffany L; Aquilina-Beck, Allisan; Sloan, Catherine A; Gardner, Luke D; Block, Barbara A; Scholz, Nathaniel L

    2013-10-15

    The 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico was the largest oil spill in United States history. Crude oils are highly toxic to developing fish embryos, and many pelagic fish species were spawning in the northern Gulf in the months before containment of the damaged Mississippi Canyon 252 (MC252) wellhead (April-July). The largest prior U.S. spill was the 1989 grounding of the Exxon Valdez that released 11 million gallons of Alaska North Slope crude oil (ANSCO) into Prince William Sound. Numerous studies in the aftermath of the Exxon Valdez spill defined a conventional crude oil injury phenotype in fish early life stages, mediated primarily by toxicity to the developing heart. To determine whether this type of injury extends to fishes exposed to crude oil from the Deepwater Horizon - MC252 incident, we used zebrafish to compare the embryotoxicity of ANSCO alongside unweathered and weathered MC252 oil. We also developed a standardized protocol for generating dispersed oil water-accommodated fractions containing microdroplets of crude oil in the size range of those detected in subsurface plumes in the Gulf. We show here that MC252 oil and ANSCO cause similar cardiotoxicity and photo-induced toxicity in zebrafish embryos. Morphological defects and patterns of cytochrome P450 induction were largely indistinguishable and generally correlated with polycyclic aromatic compound (PAC) composition of each oil type. Analyses of embryos exposed during different developmental windows provided additional insight into mechanisms of crude oil cardiotoxicity. These findings indicate that the impacts of MC252 crude oil on fish embryos and larvae are consistent with the canonical ANSCO cardiac injury phenotype. For those marine fish species that spawned in the northern Gulf of Mexico during and after the Deepwater Horizon incident, the established literature can therefore inform the assessment of natural resource injury in the form of potential year-class losses.

  7. Science in support of the Deepwater Horizon response.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lubchenco, Jane; McNutt, Marcia K; Dreyfus, Gabrielle; Murawski, Steven A; Kennedy, David M; Anastas, Paul T; Chu, Steven; Hunter, Tom

    2012-12-11

    This introduction to the Special Feature presents the context for science during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill response, summarizes how scientific knowledge was integrated across disciplines and statutory responsibilities, identifies areas where scientific information was accurate and where it was not, and considers lessons learned and recommendations for future research and response. Scientific information was integrated within and across federal and state agencies, with input from nongovernmental scientists, across a diverse portfolio of needs--stopping the flow of oil, estimating the amount of oil, capturing and recovering the oil, tracking and forecasting surface oil, protecting coastal and oceanic wildlife and habitat, managing fisheries, and protecting the safety of seafood. Disciplines involved included atmospheric, oceanographic, biogeochemical, ecological, health, biological, and chemical sciences, physics, geology, and mechanical and chemical engineering. Platforms ranged from satellites and planes to ships, buoys, gliders, and remotely operated vehicles to laboratories and computer simulations. The unprecedented response effort depended directly on intense and extensive scientific and engineering data, information, and advice. Many valuable lessons were learned that should be applied to future events.

  8. Science in support of the Deepwater Horizon response

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lubchenco, Jane; McNutt, Marcia K.; Dreyfus, Gabrielle; Murawski, Steven A.; Kennedy, David M.; Anastas, Paul T.; Chu, Steven; Hunter, Tom

    2012-01-01

    This introduction to the Special Feature presents the context for science during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill response, summarizes how scientific knowledge was integrated across disciplines and statutory responsibilities, identifies areas where scientific information was accurate and where it was not, and considers lessons learned and recommendations for future research and response. Scientific information was integrated within and across federal and state agencies, with input from nongovernmental scientists, across a diverse portfolio of needs—stopping the flow of oil, estimating the amount of oil, capturing and recovering the oil, tracking and forecasting surface oil, protecting coastal and oceanic wildlife and habitat, managing fisheries, and protecting the safety of seafood. Disciplines involved included atmospheric, oceanographic, biogeochemical, ecological, health, biological, and chemical sciences, physics, geology, and mechanical and chemical engineering. Platforms ranged from satellites and planes to ships, buoys, gliders, and remotely operated vehicles to laboratories and computer simulations. The unprecedented response effort depended directly on intense and extensive scientific and engineering data, information, and advice. Many valuable lessons were learned that should be applied to future events.

  9. Submesoscale Dispersion in the Vicinity of the Deepwater Horizon Spill

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ozgokmen, T. M.

    2014-12-01

    Reliable forecasts for the dispersion of oceanic contamination are important for coastal ecosystems, society and the economy as evidenced by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 and the Fukushima nuclear plant incident in the Pacific Ocean in 2011. Accurate prediction of pollutant pathways and concentrations at the ocean surface requires understanding ocean dynamics over a broad range of spatial scales. Fundamental questions concerning the structure of the velocity field at the submesoscales (100 meters to tens of kilometers, hours to days) remain unresolved due to a lack of synoptic measurements at these scales. Using high-frequency position data provided by the near-simultaneous release of hundreds of accurately tracked surface drifters, we study the structure of submesoscale surface velocity fluctuations in the Northern Gulf Mexico. Observed two-point statistics confirm the accuracy of classic turbulence scaling laws at 200m-50km scales and clearly indicate that dispersion at the submesoscales is local, driven predominantly by energetic submesoscale fluctuations. The results demonstrate the feasibility and utility of deploying large clusters of drifting instruments to provide synoptic observations of spatial variability of the ocean surface velocity field. Our findings allow quantification of the submesoscale-driven dispersion missing in current operational circulation models and satellite altimeter-derived velocity fields.

  10. Air Quality Impact of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Middlebrook, A. M.; Ahmadov, R.; Atlas, E. L.; Bahreini, R.; Blake, D. R.; Brioude, J.; Brock, C. A.; de Gouw, J. A.; Fahey, D. W.; Fehsenfeld, F. C.; Gao, R.; Holloway, J. S.; Lueb, R.; McKeen, S. A.; Meagher, J. F.; Meinardi, S.; Murphy, D. M.; Parrish, D. D.; Peischl, J.; Perring, A.; Pollack, I. B.; Ravishankara, A. R.; Roberts, J. M.; Robinson, A. L.; Ryerson, T. B.; Schwarz, J. P.; Spackman, J. R.; Warneke, C.; Watts, L.

    2010-12-01

    On April 20, 2010, an explosion led to a rupture of the wellhead underneath the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) drilling platform. In addition to impacts on marine life and coasts, the resulting oil spill and cleanup operations also affected air quality. We measured a wide range of gas and aerosol species in the air close to and downwind of the DWH site. Among all of the measured species, the most important air quality concern for populations along the Gulf coast and inland was aerosols in respirable sizes. Since the measured gas-phase hydrocarbons were distributed in a fairly narrow plume evaporating from fresh surface oil and organic aerosol was measured in a much broader plume, the secondary organic aerosol (SOA) evidently formed from unmeasured, less volatile hydrocarbons that were emitted from a wider area around the site. Older surface oil near the coasts of Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida had little effect on SOA formation. The SOA mass increased with distance downwind of the DWH site. Preliminary results indicate that at least a few percent by mass of the spilled oil is converted into SOA. From the flaring, surface recovery, and cleanup operations, initial calculations of emission ratios also indicate that a few percent by mass of oil burned on the surface was emitted as black carbon aerosols. These organic and black carbon aerosols from the DWH oil spill influence local visibility and radiation and have potential health effects. Furthermore, they likely occasionally reached populated areas at concentrations that were a significant fraction of air quality standards.

  11. Air quality implications of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Middlebrook, Ann M; Murphy, Daniel M; Ahmadov, Ravan; Atlas, Elliot L; Bahreini, Roya; Blake, Donald R; Brioude, Jerome; de Gouw, Joost A; Fehsenfeld, Fred C; Frost, Gregory J; Holloway, John S; Lack, Daniel A; Langridge, Justin M; Lueb, Rich A; McKeen, Stuart A; Meagher, James F; Meinardi, Simone; Neuman, J Andrew; Nowak, John B; Parrish, David D; Peischl, Jeff; Perring, Anne E; Pollack, Ilana B; Roberts, James M; Ryerson, Thomas B; Schwarz, Joshua P; Spackman, J Ryan; Warneke, Carsten; Ravishankara, A R

    2012-12-11

    During the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill, a wide range of gas and aerosol species were measured from an aircraft around, downwind, and away from the DWH site. Additional hydrocarbon measurements were made from ships in the vicinity. Aerosol particles of respirable sizes were on occasions a significant air quality issue for populated areas along the Gulf Coast. Yields of organic aerosol particles and emission factors for other atmospheric pollutants were derived for the sources from the spill, recovery, and cleanup efforts. Evaporation and subsequent secondary chemistry produced organic particulate matter with a mass yield of 8 ± 4% of the oil mixture reaching the water surface. Approximately 4% by mass of oil burned on the surface was emitted as soot particles. These yields can be used to estimate the effects on air quality for similar events as well as for this spill at other times without these data. Whereas emission of soot from burning surface oil was large during the episodic burns, the mass flux of secondary organic aerosol to the atmosphere was substantially larger overall. We use a regional air quality model to show that some observed enhancements in organic aerosol concentration along the Gulf Coast were likely due to the DWH spill. In the presence of evaporating hydrocarbons from the oil, NO(x) emissions from the recovery and cleanup operations produced ozone.

  12. Sustained deposition of contaminants from the Deepwater Horizon spill.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yan, Beizhan; Passow, Uta; Chanton, Jeffrey P; Nöthig, Eva-Maria; Asper, Vernon; Sweet, Julia; Pitiranggon, Masha; Diercks, Arne; Pak, Dorothy

    2016-06-14

    The 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill resulted in 1.6-2.6 × 10(10) grams of petrocarbon accumulation on the seafloor. Data from a deep sediment trap, deployed 7.4 km SW of the well between August 2010 and October 2011, disclose that the sinking of spill-associated substances, mediated by marine particles, especially phytoplankton, continued at least 5 mo following the capping of the well. In August/September 2010, an exceptionally large diatom bloom sedimentation event coincided with elevated sinking rates of oil-derived hydrocarbons, black carbon, and two key components of drilling mud, barium and olefins. Barium remained in the water column for months and even entered pelagic food webs. Both saturated and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon source indicators corroborate a predominant contribution of crude oil to the sinking hydrocarbons. Cosedimentation with diatoms accumulated contaminants that were dispersed in the water column and transported them downward, where they were concentrated into the upper centimeters of the seafloor, potentially leading to sustained impact on benthic ecosystems.

  13. Federal seafood safety response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ylitalo, Gina M.; Krahn, Margaret M.; Dickhoff, Walton W.; Stein, John E.; Walker, Calvin C.; Lassitter, Cheryl L.; Garrett, E. Spencer; Desfosse, Lisa L.; Mitchell, Karen M.; Noble, Brandi T.; Wilson, Steven; Beck, Nancy B.; Benner, Ronald A.; Koufopoulos, Peter N.; Dickey, Robert W.

    2012-01-01

    Following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, petroleum-related compounds and chemical dispersants were detected in the waters of the Gulf of Mexico. As a result, there was concern about the risk to human health through consumption of contaminated seafood in the region. Federal and Gulf Coast State agencies worked together on a sampling plan and analytical protocols to determine whether seafood was safe to eat and acceptable for sale in the marketplace. Sensory and chemical methods were used to measure polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and dispersant in >8,000 seafood specimens collected in federal waters of the Gulf. Overall, individual PAHs and the dispersant component dioctyl sodium sulfosuccinate were found in low concentrations or below the limits of quantitation. When detected, the concentrations were at least two orders of magnitude lower than the level of concern for human health risk. Once an area closed to fishing was free of visibly floating oil and all sensory and chemical results for the seafood species within an area met the criteria for reopening, that area was eligible to be reopened. On April 19, 2011 the area around the wellhead was the last area in federal waters to be reopened nearly 1 y after the spill began. However, as of November 9, 2011, some state waters off the Louisiana coast (Barataria Bay and the Delta region) remain closed to fishing. PMID:22315401

  14. Measurements in support of the Deepwater Horizon (MC-252) oil spill response

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crout, Richard L.

    2011-06-01

    The explosion of the Deepwater Horizon (MC-252) drilling platform on 20 April 2010 began a long response by the United Area Command. Previous responses to oil spills were limited in time due to the amount of oil spilled and were generally confined to the surface. Some of the oil from the Deepwater Horizon wellhead in 1500 meters of water broke into smaller droplets, whose density caused much of the oil to stay within a zone from 1000 to 1300 meters depth. The remainder of the oil rose to the surface. The two primary locations of oil required a broad collection of remote sensing techniques to locate and monitor the oil spill. Surface oil was monitored primarily from the air using aircraft and satellite assets. Satellite visible, infra-red, and radar satellite imagery helped to locate oil in the northern Gulf of Mexico and help predict its movement away from the spill site. Daily over-flights by aircraft provided higher spatial and temporal resolution data that were assimilated into daily products. These remote sensing assets were able to track the surface oil, but the subsurface oil required different techniques. In addition to salinity and temperature profiles to determine the subsurface structure, fluorometry and dissolved oxygen measurements provided information related to oil and its consumption by microorganisms. Water samples collected from CTD casts were analyzed on-board and returned to on-shore laboratories.

  15. Heavily Oiled Salt Marsh following the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, Ecological Comparisons of Shoreline Cleanup Treatments and Recovery

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Zengel, Scott; Bernik, Brittany M; Rutherford, Nicolle; Nixon, Zachary; Michel, Jacqueline

    2015-01-01

    The Deepwater Horizon oil spill affected hundreds of kilometers of coastal wetland shorelines, including salt marshes with persistent heavy oiling that required intensive shoreline "cleanup" treatment...

  16. Deep-sea benthic footprint of the deepwater horizon blowout.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paul A Montagna

    Full Text Available The Deepwater Horizon (DWH accident in the northern Gulf of Mexico occurred on April 20, 2010 at a water depth of 1525 meters, and a deep-sea plume was detected within one month. Oil contacted and persisted in parts of the bottom of the deep-sea in the Gulf of Mexico. As part of the response to the accident, monitoring cruises were deployed in fall 2010 to measure potential impacts on the two main soft-bottom benthic invertebrate groups: macrofauna and meiofauna. Sediment was collected using a multicorer so that samples for chemical, physical and biological analyses could be taken simultaneously and analyzed using multivariate methods. The footprint of the oil spill was identified by creating a new variable with principal components analysis where the first factor was indicative of the oil spill impacts and this new variable mapped in a geographic information system to identify the area of the oil spill footprint. The most severe relative reduction of faunal abundance and diversity extended to 3 km from the wellhead in all directions covering an area about 24 km(2. Moderate impacts were observed up to 17 km towards the southwest and 8.5 km towards the northeast of the wellhead, covering an area 148 km(2. Benthic effects were correlated to total petroleum hydrocarbon, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and barium concentrations, and distance to the wellhead; but not distance to hydrocarbon seeps. Thus, benthic effects are more likely due to the oil spill, and not natural hydrocarbon seepage. Recovery rates in the deep sea are likely to be slow, on the order of decades or longer.

  17. Deposition and Biodegradation of Submerged Oil from the Deepwater Horizon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bagby, S. C.; Fisher, G. B.; Reddy, C. M.; Valentine, D. L.

    2014-12-01

    The 2010 sinking of the Deepwater Horizon in the Gulf of Mexico caused the release of ~5 million barrels of oil to the deep ocean. Roughly half of this oil, ~2 million barrels, is believed to have been trapped ~1000-1300 m deep in the water column, in plumes comprising water-soluble hydrocarbons in the aqueous phase and water-insoluble oil particles in suspension. While the soluble fraction was subject to rapid biodegradation, the fate of the oil particles has remained unknown. Using 17α(H),21β(H)-hopane (hopane) as a conservative marker of water-insoluble crude oil, we have examined the sediment data collected in support of the Natural Resource Damage Assessment process and identified a 3200-km2 depositional footprint surrounding the Macondo well. Under conservative assumptions, we estimate that this footprint accounts for ~12% of the suspended liquid oil. Monte Carlo modeling of the distribution of surficial hopane concentrations provides an initial estimate of the size distribution and spatial density of deposited particles, and suggests that the local spatial heterogeneity of particle deposition is likely to be extremely high, such that low-density sediment sampling is unlikely to capture the true extent of deposition. Thus, the 'missing' oil may be hiding in plain sight. Finally, we examined the spatial and temporal concentration distribution of >100 hydrocarbon compounds in relation to hopane, finding that, while there is clear evidence for biodegradation of many compounds, biodegradative efficiency appears to be impeded by high concentrations of oil, perhaps reflecting the low surface area to volume ratio of large oil particles.

  18. Deep-Sea Benthic Footprint of the Deepwater Horizon Blowout

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montagna, Paul A.; Baguley, Jeffrey G.; Cooksey, Cynthia; Hartwell, Ian; Hyde, Larry J.; Hyland, Jeffrey L.; Kalke, Richard D.; Kracker, Laura M.; Reuscher, Michael; Rhodes, Adelaide C. E.

    2013-01-01

    The Deepwater Horizon (DWH) accident in the northern Gulf of Mexico occurred on April 20, 2010 at a water depth of 1525 meters, and a deep-sea plume was detected within one month. Oil contacted and persisted in parts of the bottom of the deep-sea in the Gulf of Mexico. As part of the response to the accident, monitoring cruises were deployed in fall 2010 to measure potential impacts on the two main soft-bottom benthic invertebrate groups: macrofauna and meiofauna. Sediment was collected using a multicorer so that samples for chemical, physical and biological analyses could be taken simultaneously and analyzed using multivariate methods. The footprint of the oil spill was identified by creating a new variable with principal components analysis where the first factor was indicative of the oil spill impacts and this new variable mapped in a geographic information system to identify the area of the oil spill footprint. The most severe relative reduction of faunal abundance and diversity extended to 3 km from the wellhead in all directions covering an area about 24 km2. Moderate impacts were observed up to 17 km towards the southwest and 8.5 km towards the northeast of the wellhead, covering an area 148 km2. Benthic effects were correlated to total petroleum hydrocarbon, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and barium concentrations, and distance to the wellhead; but not distance to hydrocarbon seeps. Thus, benthic effects are more likely due to the oil spill, and not natural hydrocarbon seepage. Recovery rates in the deep sea are likely to be slow, on the order of decades or longer. PMID:23950956

  19. Preventable disasters in the offshore oil industry: from Piper Alpha to Deepwater Horizon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woolfson, Charles

    2012-01-01

    This article compares two industrial disasters in the offshore oil industry, the explosion and fire on Piper Alpha off the coast of Scotland in 1988, the world's worst offshore disaster, and the blowout and explosions on Deepwater Horizon in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. It attempts to answer a simple question: Given the enormity of the first tragedy and the careful analysis of its circumstances and causes, why were the lessons of previous failure not learned by this globally organized industry, in the very heartland in the United States? The answer tells us much about the ability of corporate capital to configure regulatory regimes in its own interests and to do so in a manner that continues to threaten the safety and well-being of its employees and the wider environment.

  20. Monitoring and Modeling the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill: A Record-Breaking Enterprise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schultz, Colin

    2013-05-01

    On 20 April 2010, an explosion on the Deepwater Horizon oil drilling platform killed 11 people, and the subsequent blowout of the deepwater wellhead sparked one of the most costly oil spills in history. In the days and months that followed, researchers and disaster response crews flocked to the Gulf of Mexico to study, assess, and guide cleanup operations. In the AGU monograph Monitoring and Modeling the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill: A Record-Breaking Enterprise, editors Yonggang Liu, Amy MacFadyen, Zhen-Gang Ji, and Robert H. Weisberg pull together the results of the state-of-the-art rapid response research conducted during the Gulf oil spill. Here Eos talks to Yonggang Liu.

  1. Impact of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on a deep-water coral community in the Gulf of Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    White, Helen K; Hsing, Pen-Yuan; Cho, Walter; Shank, Timothy M; Cordes, Erik E; Quattrini, Andrea M; Nelson, Robert K; Camilli, Richard; Demopoulos, Amanda W J; German, Christopher R; Brooks, James M; Roberts, Harry H; Shedd, William; Reddy, Christopher M; Fisher, Charles R

    2012-12-11

    To assess the potential impact of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on offshore ecosystems, 11 sites hosting deep-water coral communities were examined 3 to 4 mo after the well was capped. Healthy coral communities were observed at all sites >20 km from the Macondo well, including seven sites previously visited in September 2009, where the corals and communities appeared unchanged. However, at one site 11 km southwest of the Macondo well, coral colonies presented widespread signs of stress, including varying degrees of tissue loss, sclerite enlargement, excess mucous production, bleached commensal ophiuroids, and covering by brown flocculent material (floc). On the basis of these criteria the level of impact to individual colonies was ranked from 0 (least impact) to 4 (greatest impact). Of the 43 corals imaged at that site, 46% exhibited evidence of impact on more than half of the colony, whereas nearly a quarter of all of the corals showed impact to >90% of the colony. Additionally, 53% of these corals' ophiuroid associates displayed abnormal color and/or attachment posture. Analysis of hopanoid petroleum biomarkers isolated from the floc provides strong evidence that this material contained oil from the Macondo well. The presence of recently damaged and deceased corals beneath the path of a previously documented plume emanating from the Macondo well provides compelling evidence that the oil impacted deep-water ecosystems. Our findings underscore the unprecedented nature of the spill in terms of its magnitude, release at depth, and impact to deep-water ecosystems.

  2. Impact of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on a deep-water coral community in the Gulf of Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    White, Helen K.; Hsing, Pen-Yuan; Cho, Walter; Shank, Timothy M.; Cordes, Erik E.; Quattrini, Andrea M.; Nelson, Robert K.; Camilli, Richard; Demopoulos, Amanda W.J.; German, Christopher R.; Brooks, James M.; Roberts, Harry H.; Shedd, William; Reddy, Christopher M.; Fisher, Charles R.

    2012-01-01

    To assess the potential impact of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on offshore ecosystems, 11 sites hosting deep-water coral communities were examined 3 to 4 mo after the well was capped. Healthy coral communities were observed at all sites >20 km from the Macondo well, including seven sites previously visited in September 2009, where the corals and communities appeared unchanged. However, at one site 11 km southwest of the Macondo well, coral colonies presented widespread signs of stress, including varying degrees of tissue loss, sclerite enlargement, excess mucous production, bleached commensal ophiuroids, and covering by brown flocculent material (floc). On the basis of these criteria the level of impact to individual colonies was ranked from 0 (least impact) to 4 (greatest impact). Of the 43 corals imaged at that site, 46% exhibited evidence of impact on more than half of the colony, whereas nearly a quarter of all of the corals showed impact to >90% of the colony. Additionally, 53% of these corals’ ophiuroid associates displayed abnormal color and/or attachment posture. Analysis of hopanoid petroleum biomarkers isolated from the floc provides strong evidence that this material contained oil from the Macondo well. The presence of recently damaged and deceased corals beneath the path of a previously documented plume emanating from the Macondo well provides compelling evidence that the oil impacted deep-water ecosystems. Our findings underscore the unprecedented nature of the spill in terms of its magnitude, release at depth, and impact to deep-water ecosystems.

  3. An Earth-System Approach to Understanding the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robeck, Edward

    2011-01-01

    The Deepwater Horizon explosion on April 20, 2010, and the subsequent release of oil into the Gulf of Mexico created an ecological disaster of immense proportions. The estimates of the amounts of oil, whether for the amount released per day or the total amount of oil disgorged from the well, call on numbers so large they defy the capacity of most…

  4. Characterization of the Particulate Emissions from the BP Deepwater Horizon Surface Oil Burns

    Science.gov (United States)

    Opportunistic particle samples were gathered from the sail of a tethered aerostat during at-sea plume sampling of the purposely-burned surface oil during the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. Particles were analyzed for polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs),...

  5. Degradation and resilience in Louisiana salt marshes after the BP-Deepwater Horizon oil spill

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Silliman, Brian R.; van de Koppel, Johan; McCoy, Michael W.; Diller, Jessica; Kasozi, Gabriel N.; Earl, Kamala; Adams, Peter N.; Zimmerman, Andrew R.; Schindler, David W.

    2012-01-01

    More than 2 y have passed since the BP-Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, yet we still have little understanding of its ecological impacts. Examining effects of this oil spill will generate much-needed insight into how shoreline habitats and the valuable ecological services they

  6. Photo-induced toxicity of Deepwater Horizon slick oil to blue crab (Callinectes sapidus) larvae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alloy, Matthew M; Boube, Idrissa; Griffitt, Robert J; Oris, James T; Roberts, Aaron P

    2015-09-01

    The 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill resulted in the accidental release of approximately 700 million L of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico. Photo-induced toxicity after co-exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation is 1 mechanism by which polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) from oil spills may exert toxicity. Blue crab are an important commercial and ecological resource in the Gulf of Mexico, and their largely transparent larvae may make them sensitive to PAH photo-induced toxicity. The goal of the present study was to examine the sensitivity of early lifestage blue crab (Callinectes sapidus) zoea to slick oil collected during the Deepwater Horizon spill. Blue crab zoea were exposed to 1 of several dilutions of water accommodated fractions from 1 of 2 sources of oil and gradations of natural sunlight in a factorial design. Two 7-h solar exposures were carried out with a recovery period (dark) in between. Survival was found to be UV- and PAH-dependent. Toxicity was observed within the range of surface PAH concentrations reported in the Gulf of Mexico during the Deepwater Horizon spill. These findings indicate that early lifestage blue crab are sensitive to photo-induced toxicity from Deepwater Horizon slick oil. © 2015 SETAC.

  7. Degradation and resilience in Louisiana salt marshes after the BP-Deepwater Horizon oil spill

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Silliman, Brian R.; van de Koppel, Johan; McCoy, Michael W.; Diller, Jessica; Kasozi, Gabriel N.; Earl, Kamala; Adams, Peter N.; Zimmerman, Andrew R.; Schindler, David W.

    2012-01-01

    More than 2 y have passed since the BP-Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, yet we still have little understanding of its ecological impacts. Examining effects of this oil spill will generate much-needed insight into how shoreline habitats and the valuable ecological services they prov

  8. Oil characterization and distribution in shoreline sediments of Pensacola Bay, Florida following the Deepwater Horizon spill

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barrier islands of Northwest Florida were heavily oiled during the Deepwater Horizon spill, but less is known about the impacts to the shorelines of the associated estuaries. Shoreline sediment oiling was investigated at 18 sites within the Pensacola Bay, Florida system prior to...

  9. New insights into microbial responses to oil spills from the Deepwater Horizon incident

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mason, O.U.; Hazen, T.C.

    2011-06-15

    On April 20, 2010, a catastrophic eruption of methane caused the Deepwater Horizon exploratory drill rig drilling the Macondo Well in Mississippi Canyon Block 252 (MC252) to explode. The Deepwater Horizon oil spill was unprecendeted for several reasons: the volume of oil released; the spill duration; the well depth; the distance from the shore-line (77 km or about 50 miles); the type of oil (light crude); and the injection of dispersant directly at the wellhead. This study clearly demonstrated that there was a profound and significant response by certain members of the in situ microbial community in the deep-sea in the Gulf of Mexico. In particular putative hydrocarbon degrading Bacteria appeared to bloom in response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, even though the temperature at these depths is never >5 C. As the plume aged the shifts in the microbial community on a temporal scale suggested that different, yet metabolically important members of the community were able to respond to a myriad of plume constituents, e.g. shifting from propane/ethane to alkanes and finally to methane. Thus, the biodegradation of hydrocarbons in the plume by Bacteria was a highly significant process in the natural attenuation of many compounds released during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

  10. Impact of Deepwater Horizon spill on food supply to deep-sea benthos communities

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Prouty, N.G.; Campbell, P.L.; Mienis, F.; Duineveld, G.; Demopoulos, A.W.J.; Ross, S.W.; Brooke, S.

    2016-01-01

    Deep-sea ecosystems encompass unique and often fragile communities that are sensitive to a variety of anthropogenic and natural impacts. After the 2010 Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill, sampling efforts documented the acute impact of the spill on some deep-sea coral colonies. To investigate the imp

  11. Simulating Surface Oil Transport During the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill: Experiments with the BioCast System

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-01-25

    Weisberg, R.H., Hu, C., Kovach , C., Riethmüller, R., 2011b. Evolution of the Loop Current system during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill event as observed...English, D., Basso, J., Delaney, J., McDaniel, L., Kovach , C.W., 2013. Toxicity and mutagenicity of Gulf of Mexico waters during and after the Deepwater

  12. An ecosystem services approach to assessing the impacts of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Ocean Studies Board; Division on Earth and Life Studies; National Research Council

    2013-01-01

    "As the Gulf of Mexico recovers from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, natural resource managers face the challenge of understanding the impacts of the spill and setting priorities for restoration work...

  13. Petroleum hydrocarbon persistence following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill as a function of shoreline energy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evans, Meredith; Liu, Jiqing; Bacosa, Hernando; Rosenheim, Brad E; Liu, Zhanfei

    2017-02-15

    An important aspect of oil spill science is understanding how the compounds within spilled oil, especially toxic components, change with weathering. In this study we follow the evolution of petroleum hydrocarbons, including n-alkanes, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and alkylated PAHs, on a Louisiana beach and salt marsh for three years following the Deepwater Horizon spill. Relative to source oil, we report overall depletion of low molecular weight n-alkanes and PAHs in all locations with time. The magnitude of depletion, however, depends on the sampling location, whereby sites with highest wave energy have highest compound depletion. Oiled sediment from an enclosed bay shows high enrichment of high molecular weight PAHs relative to 17α(H),21β(H)-hopane, suggesting the contribution from sources other than the Deepwater Horizon spill, such as fossil fuel burning. This insight into hydrocarbon persistence as a function of hydrography and hydrocarbon source can inform policy and response for future spills.

  14. Relative Condition Factors of Fish as Bioindicators One Year after the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-02-01

    Research Report 3. DATES COVERED (From - To) 07-01-2010 to 30-1-2012 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE Relative Condition Factors of Fish as Bioindicators One...Condition index, relative condition factor, bioindicator , oil spill 16. SECURITY CLASSIFICATION OF: 17. LIMITATION OF ABSTRACT 18. NUMBER OF...Condition Factors of Fish as Bioindicators One Year after the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Joshua Courtney,1 Taylor Klinkmann,2 Amy Courtney,1 Joseph

  15. A Decline in Benthic Foraminifera following the Deepwater Horizon Event in the Northeastern Gulf of Mexico

    OpenAIRE

    Patrick T Schwing; Isabel C. Romero; Brooks, Gregg R.; Hastings, David W.; Rebekka A Larson; Hollander, David J.

    2015-01-01

    Sediment cores were collected from three sites (1000-1200 m water depth) in the northeastern Gulf of Mexico from December 2010 to June 2011 to assess changes in benthic foraminiferal density related to the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) event (April-July 2010, 1500 m water depth). Short-lived radioisotope geochronologies (²¹⁰Pb, ²³⁴Th), organic geochemical assessments, and redox metal concentrations were determined to relate changes in sediment accumulation rate, contamination, and redox conditions ...

  16. Impacts of Deepwater Horizon crude oil exposure on adult mahi-mahi (Coryphaena hippurus) swim performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stieglitz, John D; Mager, Edward M; Hoenig, Ronald H; Benetti, Daniel D; Grosell, Martin

    2016-10-01

    The temporal and geographic attributes of the Deepwater Horizon incident in 2010 likely exposed pelagic game fish species, such as mahi-mahi, to crude oil. Although much of the research assessing the effects of the spill has focused on early life stages of fish, studies examining whole-animal physiological responses of adult marine fish species are lacking. Using swim chamber respirometry, the present study demonstrates that acute exposure to a sublethal concentration of the water accommodated fraction of Deepwater Horizon crude oil results in significant swim performance impacts on young adult mahi-mahi, representing the first report of acute sublethal toxicity on adult pelagic fish in the Gulf of Mexico following the spill. At an exposure concentration of 8.4 ± 0.6 µg L(-1) sum of 50 selected polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs; mean of geometric means ± standard error of the mean), significant decreases in the critical and optimal swimming speeds of 14% and 10%, respectively (p < 0.05), were observed. In addition, a 20% reduction in the maximum metabolic rate and a 29% reduction in aerobic scope resulted from exposure to this level of ΣPAHs. Using environmentally relevant crude oil exposure concentrations and a commercially and ecologically valuable Gulf of Mexico fish species, the present results provide insight into the effects of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on adult pelagic fish. Environ Toxicol Chem 2016;35:2613-2622. © 2016 SETAC.

  17. Inorganic Carbon and pH in the Gulf of Mexico: Understanding the Deepwater Horizon Region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, J.; Yvon-Lewis, S. A.; Bianchi, T. S.; Shields, M. R.; Du, M.

    2014-12-01

    The breakdown and respiration of oil compounds may contribute to the dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) pool and thus ocean acidification. The Gulf of Mexico (GOM) has an abundance of natural seeps as well as numerous man-made structures that could provide a source of hydrocarbons to the water column. Samples of seawater were collected on the first GISR (Gulf Integrated Spill Research) cruise (G01) during the first week of July 2012. This cruise covered an area of ~1360 km2 roughly centered on the site of the Deepwater Horizon disaster. Alkalinity profiles for the southeastern most stations indicate lower (~100 μmol/kg) alkalinities at depth when compared to other stations sampled. This results in calculated pHs that are ~0.5 units lower at depth than they are at the other stations. Another group of stations show increased DIC concentrations on the order of 100-150 μmol/kg higher than average at depths at 800 m and 1200 m leading to calculated pHs about 0.2 to 0.4 below average for those depths in all of the stations sampled. These features may or may not be persistent in this region, and the elevated DIC concentrations may be related to organic matter (petroleum or other) oxidation. Samples were collected from this same region 2 years later (June 2014) and the persistence of these features will be discussed in the context of linkages with organic carbon respiration and low pHs.

  18. Deepwater Horizon oil spill impacts on sea turtles could span the Atlantic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Putman, Nathan F; Abreu-Grobois, F Alberto; Iturbe-Darkistade, Iñaky; Putman, Emily M; Richards, Paul M; Verley, Philippe

    2015-12-01

    We investigated the extent that the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill potentially affected oceanic-stage sea turtles from populations across the Atlantic. Within an ocean-circulation model, particles were backtracked from the Gulf of Mexico spill site to determine the probability of young turtles arriving in this area from major nesting beaches. The abundance of turtles in the vicinity of the oil spill was derived by forward-tracking particles from focal beaches and integrating population size, oceanic-stage duration and stage-specific survival rates. Simulations indicated that 321 401 (66 199-397 864) green (Chelonia mydas), loggerhead (Caretta caretta) and Kemp's ridley (Lepidochelys kempii) turtles were likely within the spill site. These predictions compared favourably with estimates from in-water observations recently made available to the public (though our initial predictions for Kemp's ridley were substantially lower than in-water estimates, better agreement was obtained with modifications to mimic behaviour of young Kemp's ridley turtles in the northern Gulf). Simulations predicted 75.2% (71.9-76.3%) of turtles came from Mexico, 14.8% (11-18%) from Costa Rica, 5.9% (4.8-7.9%) from countries in northern South America, 3.4% (2.4-3.5%) from the United States and 1.6% (0.6-2.0%) from West African countries. Thus, the spill's impacts may extend far beyond the current focus on the northern Gulf of Mexico. © 2015 The Authors.

  19. Fluctuating asymmetry in Menidia beryllina before and after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michaelsen, Savannah; Schaefer, Jacob; Peterson, Mark S

    2015-01-01

    Assessing the impacts of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill with a dependable baseline comparison can provide reliable insight into environmental stressors on organisms that were potentially affected by the spill. Fluctuating asymmetry (small, non-random deviations from perfect bilateral symmetry) is an informative metric sensitive to contaminants that can be used to assess environmental stress levels. For this study, the well-studied and common Gulf of Mexico estuarine fish, Menidia beryllina, was used with pre and post-oil spill collections. Comparisons of fluctuating asymmetry in three traits (eye diameter, pectoral fin length, and pelvic fin length) were made pre and post-oil spill across two sites (Old Fort Bayou and the Pascagoula River), as well as between years of collection (2011, 2012)--one and two years, respectfully, after the spill in 2010. We hypothesized that fluctuating asymmetry would be higher in post-Deepwater Horizon samples, and that this will be replicated in both study areas along the Mississippi Gulf coast. We also predicted that fluctuating asymmetry would decrease through time after the oil spill as the oil decomposed and/or was removed. Analyses performed on 1135 fish (220 pre and 915 post Deepwater Horizon) showed significantly higher post spill fluctuating asymmetry in the eye but no difference for the pectoral or pelvic fins. There was also higher fluctuating asymmetry in one of the two sites both pre and post-spill, indicating observed asymmetry may be the product of multiple stressors. Fluctuating asymmetry decreased in 2012 compared to 2011. Fluctuating asymmetry is a sensitive measure of sub lethal stress, and the observed variability in this study (pre vs. post-spill or between sites) could be due to a combination of oil, dispersants, or other unknown stressors.

  20. Fluctuating asymmetry in Menidia beryllina before and after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Savannah Michaelsen

    Full Text Available Assessing the impacts of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill with a dependable baseline comparison can provide reliable insight into environmental stressors on organisms that were potentially affected by the spill. Fluctuating asymmetry (small, non-random deviations from perfect bilateral symmetry is an informative metric sensitive to contaminants that can be used to assess environmental stress levels. For this study, the well-studied and common Gulf of Mexico estuarine fish, Menidia beryllina, was used with pre and post-oil spill collections. Comparisons of fluctuating asymmetry in three traits (eye diameter, pectoral fin length, and pelvic fin length were made pre and post-oil spill across two sites (Old Fort Bayou and the Pascagoula River, as well as between years of collection (2011, 2012--one and two years, respectfully, after the spill in 2010. We hypothesized that fluctuating asymmetry would be higher in post-Deepwater Horizon samples, and that this will be replicated in both study areas along the Mississippi Gulf coast. We also predicted that fluctuating asymmetry would decrease through time after the oil spill as the oil decomposed and/or was removed. Analyses performed on 1135 fish (220 pre and 915 post Deepwater Horizon showed significantly higher post spill fluctuating asymmetry in the eye but no difference for the pectoral or pelvic fins. There was also higher fluctuating asymmetry in one of the two sites both pre and post-spill, indicating observed asymmetry may be the product of multiple stressors. Fluctuating asymmetry decreased in 2012 compared to 2011. Fluctuating asymmetry is a sensitive measure of sub lethal stress, and the observed variability in this study (pre vs. post-spill or between sites could be due to a combination of oil, dispersants, or other unknown stressors.

  1. British Petroleum's Deepwater Horizon Accident and the Thinking, Engaged Workforce - 13265

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rigot, William L. [Fluor Corporation, Technical Support Services (United States)

    2013-07-01

    On April 20, 2010, hydrocarbons escaped from the Macondo well into Transocean's Deepwater Horizon, resulting in fire and multiple explosions. 11 people on the rig died. The billion dollar Deepwater Horizon sank. 4.9 M gallons of product flowed from the well for 87 days creating an environmental nightmare for communities bordering on the Gulf of Mexico. BP established a $20 B reserve to pay for damages. Investigations and legal culpability continue to this day. In September 2010, the Institute for Nuclear Power Operators (INPO) issued Significant Operating Experience Report (SOER) 10-2, Engaged, Thinking Organizations. The industry had experienced 11 events, 9 in US commercial nuclear utilities, and 2 international, that had disturbing trends. The underlying causes highlighted by INPO were inadequate recognition of risk, weaknesses in application of significant operating experience, tolerance of equipment and personnel problems, and a significant drift in standards. While the noted INPO problems and the Deepwater Horizon event appear to have nothing in common, they do exhibit similarities in a drift away from expected behavior on the part of front line workers and their supervisors. At the same time, hidden hazards are accumulating in the environment leading to error intolerant conditions. Without a good understanding of this concept, many organizations tend to focus on the person who 'touched it last', while missing the deeper organizational factors that led that individual to think that what they were doing was correct. An understanding of this failure model is important in reconstruction of events and crafting effective corrective actions. It is much more important, however, for leaders in high hazard industries to recognize when they are approaching error intolerant conditions and take steps immediately to add safety margin. (authors)

  2. The Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Disaster: A Graphical Assessment of its Impact on Wildlife

    OpenAIRE

    Suyundikov, Anvar

    2012-01-01

    The Deepwater Horizon oil spill occurred in the Gulf of Mexico on April 20, 2010. Considered the largest accidental marine oil spill in history, oil flowed for three months and approximately five million barrels of oil spilled through by mid-July 2010. In this report, we analyze fish and bird data to assess the impact of the oil spill on the Gulf wildlife. Our findings based on the available fish data for 2005, 2006, and 2010 are not very helpful to make a judgement on the negative impact of ...

  3. Macondo crude oil from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill disrupts specific developmental processes during zebrafish embryogenesis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    de Soysa T Yvanka

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The Deepwater Horizon disaster was the largest marine oil spill in history, and total vertical exposure of oil to the water column suggests it could impact an enormous diversity of ecosystems. The most vulnerable organisms are those encountering these pollutants during their early life stages. Water-soluble components of crude oil and specific polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons have been shown to cause defects in cardiovascular and craniofacial development in a variety of teleost species, but the developmental origins of these defects have yet to be determined. We have adopted zebrafish, Danio rerio, as a model to test whether water accumulated fractions (WAF of the Deepwater Horizon oil could impact specific embryonic developmental processes. While not a native species to the Gulf waters, the developmental biology of zebrafish has been well characterized and makes it a powerful model system to reveal the cellular and molecular mechanisms behind Macondo crude toxicity. Results WAF of Macondo crude oil sampled during the oil spill was used to treat zebrafish throughout embryonic and larval development. Our results indicate that the Macondo crude oil causes a variety of significant defects in zebrafish embryogenesis, but these defects have specific developmental origins. WAF treatments caused defects in craniofacial development and circulatory function similar to previous reports, but we extend these results to show they are likely derived from an earlier defect in neural crest cell development. Moreover, we demonstrate that exposure to WAFs causes a variety of novel deformations in specific developmental processes, including programmed cell death, locomotor behavior, sensory and motor axon pathfinding, somitogenesis and muscle patterning. Interestingly, the severity of cell death and muscle phenotypes decreased over several months of repeated analysis, which was correlated with a rapid drop-off in the aromatic and alkane

  4. Oil carbon entered the coastal planktonic food web during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graham, William M.; Condon, Robert H.; Carmichael, Ruth H.; D'Ambra, Isabella; Patterson, Heather K.; Linn, Laura J.; Hernandez, Frank J., Jr.

    2010-10-01

    The Deepwater Horizon oil spill was unprecedented in total loading of petroleum hydrocarbons accidentally released to a marine ecosystem. Controversial application of chemical dispersants presumably accelerated microbial consumption of oil components, especially in warm Gulf of Mexico surface waters. We employed δ13C as a tracer of oil-derived carbon to resolve two periods of isotopic carbon depletion in two plankton size classes. Carbon depletion was coincident with the arrival of surface oil slicks in the far northern Gulf, and demonstrated that subsurface oil carbon was incorporated into the plankton food web.

  5. Lessons learned while building the Deepwater Horizon Database: Toward improved data sharing in coastal science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thessen, Anne E.; McGinnis, Sean; North, Elizabeth W.

    2016-02-01

    Process studies and coupled-model validation efforts in geosciences often require integration of multiple data types across time and space. For example, improved prediction of hydrocarbon fate and transport is an important societal need which fundamentally relies upon synthesis of oceanography and hydrocarbon chemistry. Yet, there are no publically accessible databases which integrate these diverse data types in a georeferenced format, nor are there guidelines for developing such a database. The objective of this research was to analyze the process of building one such database to provide baseline information on data sources and data sharing and to document the challenges and solutions that arose during this major undertaking. The resulting Deepwater Horizon Database was approximately 2.4 GB in size and contained over 8 million georeferenced data points collected from industry, government databases, volunteer networks, and individual researchers. The major technical challenges that were overcome were reconciliation of terms, units, and quality flags which were necessary to effectively integrate the disparate data sets. Assembling this database required the development of relationships with individual researchers and data managers which often involved extensive e-mail contacts. The average number of emails exchanged per data set was 7.8. Of the 95 relevant data sets that were discovered, 38 (40%) were obtained, either in whole or in part. Over one third (36%) of the requests for data went unanswered. The majority of responses were received after the first request (64%) and within the first week of the first request (67%). Although fewer than half of the potentially relevant datasets were incorporated into the database, the level of sharing (40%) was high compared to some other disciplines where sharing can be as low as 10%. Our suggestions for building integrated databases include budgeting significant time for e-mail exchanges, being cognizant of the cost versus

  6. An in-depth survey of the oil spill literature since 1968: Long term trends and changes since Deepwater Horizon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murphy, David; Gemmell, Brad; Vaccari, Liana; Li, Cheng; Bacosa, Hernando; Evans, Meredith; Gemmell, Colbi; Harvey, Tracy; Jalali, Maryam; Niepa, Tagbo H R

    2016-12-15

    In order to characterize the state of oil spill research and describe how the field has changed since its inception in the 1960s and since the Deepwater Horizon spill in 2010, we examined approximately 10% of oil spill literature (1255 of over 11,000 publications) published from 1968 to 2015. We find that, despite its episodic nature, oil spill research is a rapidly expanding field with a growth rate faster than that of science as a whole. There is a massive post-Deepwater Horizon shift of research attention to the Gulf of Mexico, from 2% of studies in 2004-2008 to 61% in 2014-2015, thus ranking Deepwater Horizon as the most studied oil spill. There is, however, a longstanding gap in research in that only 1% of studies deal with the effects of oil spills on human health. These results provide a better understanding of the current trends and gaps within the field.

  7. A revealed preference approach to valuing non-market recreational fishing losses from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alvarez, Sergio; Larkin, Sherry L; Whitehead, John C; Haab, Tim

    2014-12-01

    At an estimated 206 million gallons, the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) is the largest marine oil spill in the history of the United States. In this paper we develop a series of random utility models of site choice by saltwater anglers in the Southeast US and estimate monetary compensation for recreational losses due to the DWH oil spill. Heterogeneity in angler preferences is accounted for by using mixed logit models, and different compensation measures for shore-based, private boat, and for-hire anglers are estimated. Results indicate that willingness to pay for oil spill prevention varies by fishing mode and anglers fishing from shore and private boats exhibit heterogeneous preferences for oil spill avoidance. In addition, the total monetary compensation due to anglers is estimated at USD 585 million.

  8. Assessment of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill impact on Gulf coast microbial communities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Regina eLamendella

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available One of the major environmental concerns of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico was the ecological impact of the oil that reached shorelines of the Gulf Coast. Here we investigated the impact of the oil on the microbial composition in beach samples collected in June 2010 along a heavily impacted shoreline near Grand Isle, Louisiana. Successional changes in the microbial community structure due to the oil contamination were determined by deep sequencing of 16S rRNA genes. Metatranscriptomics was used to determine expression of functional genes involved in hydrocarbon degradation processes. In addition, potential hydrocarbon-degrading Bacteria were obtained in culture. The 16S data revealed that highly contaminated samples had higher abundances of Alpha- and Gammaproteobacteria sequences. Successional changes in these classes were observed over time, during which the oil was partially degraded. The metatranscriptome data revealed that PAH, n-alkane, and toluene degradation genes were expressed in the contaminated samples, with high homology to genes from Alteromonadales, Rhodobacterales, and Pseudomonales. Notably, Marinobacter (Gammaproteobacteria had the highest representation of expressed genes in the samples. A Marinobacter isolated from this beach was shown to have potential for transformation of hydrocarbons in incubation experiments with oil obtained from the Mississippi Canyon Block 252 (MC252 well; collected during the Deepwater Horizon spill. The combined data revealed a response of the beach microbial community to oil contaminants, including prevalence of Bacteria endowed with the functional capacity to degrade oil.

  9. Longer-Term Mental and Behavioral Health Effects of the Deepwater Horizon Gulf Oil Spill

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tonya Cross Hansel

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Mental health issues are a significant concern after technological disasters such as the 2010 Gulf Oil Spill; however, there is limited knowledge about the long-term effects of oil spills. The study was part of a larger research effort to improve understanding of the mental and behavioral health effects of the Deepwater Horizon Gulf Oil Spill. Data were collected immediately following the spill and the same individuals were resampled again after the second anniversary (n = 314. The results show that mental health symptoms of depression, serious mental illness and posttraumatic stress have not statistically decreased, and anxiety symptoms were statistically equivalent to immediate symptoms. Results also showed that the greatest effect on anxiety is related to the extent of disruption to participants’ lives, work, family, and social engagement. This study supports lessons learned following the Exxon Valdez spill suggesting that mental health effects are long term and recovery is slow. Elevated symptoms indicate the continued need for mental health services, especially for individuals with high levels of disruption resulting in increased anxiety. Findings also suggest that the longer-term recovery trajectories following the Deepwater Horizon Gulf Oil Spill do not fall within traditional disaster recovery timelines.

  10. Effects of COREXIT EC9500A on bacterial communities influenced by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fulmer, P. A.; Hamdan, L. J.

    2010-12-01

    Hydrocarbon-degrading bacteria are important to controlling the fate of natural and anthropogenic hydrocarbons in the marine environment and will be an important component to the natural attenuation of the Deepwater Horizon spill. The chemical dispersant COREXIT®EC9500A was widely deployed during the Deepwater Horizon response. Although toxicity tests confirm that COREXIT®EC9500A does not pose a significant threat to invertebrate and adult fish populations, there is limited information on its effect on microbial communities. Microbial community composition was determined in freshly deposited oil on a beach in Louisiana, resulting from the spill. Secondary heterotrophic production and viability in cultures obtained from oil samples was determined in the presence and absence of COREXIT®EC9500A . Vibrio isolates were abundant in length heterogeneity-PCR fingerprints of oil samples along with hydrocarbon-degrading isolates affiliated with Acinetobacter and Marinobacter. Significant reductions in Acinetobacter and Marinobacter production and viability in the presence of the dispersant compared to controls were observed. Marinobacter is most sensitive to the dispersant as evidenced by a near 100% reduction in viability and production as a result of exposure to environmentally relevant concentrations of the dispersant. Significantly, at the same dispersant concentration, non-hydrocarbon-degrading Vibrio isolates proliferate. These data suggest that hydrocarbon-degrading bacteria are inhibited by this dispersants and that it’s use could potentially diminish the capacity of environmental microbial communities to bioremediate the spill.

  11. Microbial transformation of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill – past, present, and future perspectives

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nikole E. Kimes

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available The Deepwater Horizon blowout, which occurred on April 20, 2010, resulted in an unprecedented oil spill. Despite a complex effort to cap the well, oil and gas spewed from the site until July 15, 2010. Although a large proportion of the hydrocarbons was depleted via natural processes and human intervention, a substantial portion of the oil remained unaccounted for and impacted multiple ecosystems throughout the Gulf of Mexico. The depth, duration and magnitude of this spill were unique, raising many questions and concerns regarding the fate of the hydrocarbons released. One major question was whether or not microbial communities would be capable of metabolizing the hydrocarbons, and if so, by what mechanisms and to what extent? In this review, we summarize the microbial response to the oil spill as described by studies performed during the past four years, providing an overview of the different responses associated with the water column, surface waters, deep-sea sediments, and coastal sands/sediments. Collectively, these studies provide evidence that the microbial response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill was rapid and robust, displaying common attenuation mechanisms optimized for low molecular weight aliphatic and aromatic hydrocarbons. In contrast, the lack of evidence for the attenuation of more recalcitrant hydrocarbon components suggests that future work should focus on both the environmental impact and metabolic fate of recalcitrant compounds, such as oxygenated oil components.

  12. Applications of science and engineering to quantify and control the Deepwater Horizon oil spill

    Science.gov (United States)

    McNutt, Marcia K.; Chu, Steven; Lubchenco, Jane; Hunter, Tom; Dreyfus, Gabrielle; Murawski, Steven A.; Kennedy, David M.

    2012-01-01

    The unprecedented engagement of scientists from government, academia, and industry enabled multiple unanticipated and unique problems to be addressed during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. During the months between the initial blowout on April 20, 2010, and the final well kill on September 19, 2010, researchers prepared options, analyses of tradeoffs, assessments, and calculations of uncertainties associated with the flow rate of the well, well shut in, killing the well, and determination of the location of oil released into the environment. This information was used in near real time by the National Incident Commander and other government decision-makers. It increased transparency into BP’s proposed actions and gave the government confidence that, at each stage proposed, courses of action had been thoroughly vetted to reduce risk to human life and the environment and improve chances of success.

  13. Application of MODFLOW for oil reservoir simulation during the Deepwater Horizon Crisis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hsieh, Paul A.

    2011-01-01

    When the Macondo well was shut in on July 15, 2010, the shut-in pressure recovered to a level that indicated the possibility of oil leakage out of the well casing into the surrounding formation. Such a leak could initiate a hydraulic fracture that might eventually breach the seafloor, resulting in renewed and uncontrolled oil flow into the Gulf of Mexico. To help evaluate whether or not to reopen the well, a MODFLOW model was constructed within 24 h after shut in to analyze the shut-in pressure. The model showed that the shut-in pressure can be explained by a reasonable scenario in which the well did not leak after shut in. The rapid response provided a scientific analysis for the decision to keep the well shut, thus ending the oil spill resulting from the Deepwater Horizon blow out.

  14. Microbial gene functions enriched in the Deepwater Horizon deep-sea oil plume

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lu, Z.; Deng, Y.; Nostrand, J.D. Van; He, Z.; Voordeckers, J.; Zhou, A.; Lee, Y.-J.; Mason, O.U.; Dubinsky, E.; Chavarria, K.; Tom, L.; Fortney, J.; Lamendella, R.; Jansson, J.K.; D?haeseleer, P.; Hazen, T.C.; Zhou, J.

    2011-06-15

    The Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is the deepest and largest offshore spill in U.S. history and its impacts on marine ecosystems are largely unknown. Here, we showed that the microbial community functional composition and structure were dramatically altered in a deep-sea oil plume resulting from the spill. A variety of metabolic genes involved in both aerobic and anaerobic hydrocarbon degradation were highly enriched in the plume compared to outside the plume, indicating a great potential for intrinsic bioremediation or natural attenuation in the deep-sea. Various other microbial functional genes relevant to carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, sulfur and iron cycling, metal resistance, and bacteriophage replication were also enriched in the plume. Together, these results suggest that the indigenous marine microbial communities could play a significant role in biodegradation of oil spills in deep-sea environments.

  15. Application of MODFLOW for oil reservoir simulation during the Deepwater Horizon crisis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hsieh, Paul A

    2011-01-01

    When the Macondo well was shut in on July 15, 2010, the shut-in pressure recovered to a level that indicated the possibility of oil leakage out of the well casing into the surrounding formation. Such a leak could initiate a hydraulic fracture that might eventually breach the seafloor, resulting in renewed and uncontrolled oil flow into the Gulf of Mexico. To help evaluate whether or not to reopen the well, a MODFLOW model was constructed within 24 h after shut in to analyze the shut-in pressure. The model showed that the shut-in pressure can be explained by a reasonable scenario in which the well did not leak after shut in. The rapid response provided a scientific analysis for the decision to keep the well shut, thus ending the oil spill resulting from the Deepwater Horizon blow out.

  16. Oil Characterization and Distribution in Florida Estuary Sediments Following the Deepwater Horizon Spill

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mace G. Barron

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Barrier islands of Northwest Florida were heavily oiled during the Deepwater Horizon spill, but less is known about the impacts to the shorelines of the associated estuaries. Shoreline sediment oiling was investigated at 18 sites within the Pensacola Bay, Florida system prior to impact, during peak oiling, and post-wellhead capping. Only two locations closest to the Gulf of Mexico had elevated levels of total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPH and total polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs. These samples showed a clear weathered crude oil signature, pattern of depletion of C9 to C19 alkanes and C0 to C4 naphthalenes, and geochemical biomarker ratios in concordance with weathered Macondo crude oil. All other locations and sample times showed only trace petroleum contamination. The results of this study are consistent with available satellite imagery and visual shoreline survey data showing heavy shoreline oiling limited to sandy beaches near the entrance to Pensacola Bay and shorelines of Santa Rosa Island.

  17. Metagenomics reveals sediment microbial community response to Deepwater Horizon oil spill

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mason, Olivia U.; Scott, Nicole M.; Gonzalez, Antonio

    2014-01-01

    The Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill in the spring of 2010 resulted in an input of similar to 4.1 million barrels of oil to the Gulf of Mexico; >22% of this oil is unaccounted for, with unknown environmental consequences. Here we investigated the impact of oil deposition on microbial communities...... in surface sediments collected at 64 sites by targeted sequencing of 16S rRNA genes, shotgun metagenomic sequencing of 14 of these samples and mineralization experiments using C-14-labeled model substrates. The 16S rRNA gene data indicated that the most heavily oil-impacted sediments were enriched......) compared with those that did not. Importantly, these data demonstrate that the indigenous sediment microbiota contributed an important ecosystem service for remediation of oil in the Gulf. However, PAHs were more recalcitrant to degradation, and their persistence could have deleterious impacts...

  18. Islands in the oil: Quantifying salt marsh shoreline erosion after the Deepwater Horizon oiling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turner, R Eugene; McClenachan, Giovanna; Tweel, Andrew W

    2016-09-15

    Qualitative inferences and sparse bay-wide measurements suggest that shoreline erosion increased after the 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon (DWH) disaster, but quantifying the impacts has been elusive at the landscape scale. We quantified the shoreline erosion of 46 islands for before and after the DWH oil spill to determine how much shoreline was lost, if the losses were temporary, and if recovery/restoration occurred. The erosion rates at the oiled islands increased to 275% in the first six months after the oiling, were 200% of that of the unoiled islands for the first 2.5years after the oiling, and twelve times the average land loss in the deltaic plain of 0.4%y(-1) from 1988 to 2011. These results support the hypothesis that oiling compromised the belowground biomass of the emergent vegetation. The islands are, in effect, sentinels of marsh stability already in decline before the oil spill.

  19. Chemical fingerprinting of petroleum biomarkers in Deepwater Horizon oil spill samples collected from Alabama shoreline.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mulabagal, V; Yin, F; John, G F; Hayworth, J S; Clement, T P

    2013-05-15

    We compare the chromatographic signatures of petroleum biomarkers in Deepwater Horizon (DH) source oil, three other reference crude oils, DH emulsified mousse that arrived on Alabama's shoreline in June 2010, and seven tar balls collected from Alabama beaches from 2011 to 2012. Characteristic hopane and sterane fingerprints show that all the tar ball samples originated from DH oil. In addition, the diagnostic ratios of various hopanes indicate an excellent match. Quantitation data for C₃₀αβ-hopane concentration levels show that most of the weathering observed in DH-related tar balls found on Alabama's beaches is likely the result of natural evaporation and dissolution that occurred during transport across the Gulf of Mexico prior to beach deposition. Based on the physical and biomarker characterization data presented in this study we conclude that virtually all fragile, sticky, brownish tar balls currently found on Alabama shoreline originated from the DH oil spill.

  20. Formation dynamics of subsurface hydrocarbon intrusions following the Deepwater Horizon blowout

    Science.gov (United States)

    Socolofsky, Scott A.; Adams, E. Eric; Sherwood, Christopher R.

    2011-01-01

    Hydrocarbons released following the Deepwater Horizon (DH) blowout were found in deep, subsurface horizontal intrusions, yet there has been little discussion about how these intrusions formed. We have combined measured (or estimated) observations from the DH release with empirical relationships developed from previous lab experiments to identify the mechanisms responsible for intrusion formation and to characterize the DH plume. Results indicate that the intrusions originate from a stratification-dominated multiphase plume characterized by multiple subsurface intrusions containing dissolved gas and oil along with small droplets of liquid oil. Unlike earlier lab measurements, where the potential density in ambient water decreased linearly with elevation, at the DH site it varied quadratically. We have modified our method for estimating intrusion elevation under these conditions and the resulting estimates agree with observations that the majority of the hydrocarbons were found between 800 and 1200 m.

  1. NOAA Response to the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill - Protecting Oceans, Coasts and Fisheries (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lubchenco, J.

    2010-12-01

    As the nation’s leading scientific resource for oil spills, NOAA has been on the scene of the Deepwater Horizon/BP oil spill from the start, providing coordinated scientific weather and biological response services to federal, state and local organizations. NOAA has mobilized experts from across the agency to help contain the spreading oil spill and protect the Gulf of Mexico’s many marine mammals, sea turtles, fish, shellfish and other endangered marine life. NOAA spill specialists advised the U.S. Coast Guard on cleanup options as well as advising all affected federal, state and local partners on sensitive marine resources at risk in this area of the Gulf of Mexico. As a major partner in the federal response to this incident, NOAA provided the necessary coastal and marine expertise required for sound, timely decision-making and helped protect the affected Gulf Coast communities and coastal marine environment and will continue to do so for ongoing restoration efforts.

  2. Alternative response technology program for the Deepwater Horizon in the Gulf of Mexico - an overview

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cortez, Michael J.; Rowe, Hunter G. [BP - Gulf Coast Restoration (United States)], email: michael.cortez@bp.com

    2011-07-01

    The innovative approach utilized by the Alternative Response Technology (ART) Program for the MC252 Deepwater Horizon response in the Gulf of Mexico during 2010 was presented in this paper. The ART program is authorized by the Unified Area Command. This paper focuses on the spill response technologies that were implemented offshore, near shore and on-shore, and covers technologies related to booming, skimming, separation, sand cleaning, surveillance and detection. A process was designed and implemented for capturing ideas real time, which leveraged the public's ingenuity and entrepreneurial spirit. About 120,000 individual ideas were submitted by the public globally from more than 100 countries. About 40,000 of these ideas were related to addressing the spill response. There are about 100 new technologies related to spill response that were formally evaluated and/or field tested, and approximately 25 of those tested were successfully implemented across the spill response area.

  3. Deepwater Horizon crude oil impacts the developing hearts of large predatory pelagic fish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Incardona, John P; Gardner, Luke D; Linbo, Tiffany L; Brown, Tanya L; Esbaugh, Andrew J; Mager, Edward M; Stieglitz, John D; French, Barbara L; Labenia, Jana S; Laetz, Cathy A; Tagal, Mark; Sloan, Catherine A; Elizur, Abigail; Benetti, Daniel D; Grosell, Martin; Block, Barbara A; Scholz, Nathaniel L

    2014-04-15

    The Deepwater Horizon disaster released more than 636 million L of crude oil into the northern Gulf of Mexico. The spill oiled upper surface water spawning habitats for many commercially and ecologically important pelagic fish species. Consequently, the developing spawn (embryos and larvae) of tunas, swordfish, and other large predators were potentially exposed to crude oil-derived polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Fish embryos are generally very sensitive to PAH-induced cardiotoxicity, and adverse changes in heart physiology and morphology can cause both acute and delayed mortality. Cardiac function is particularly important for fast-swimming pelagic predators with high aerobic demand. Offspring for these species develop rapidly at relatively high temperatures, and their vulnerability to crude oil toxicity is unknown. We assessed the impacts of field-collected Deepwater Horizon (MC252) oil samples on embryos of three pelagic fish: bluefin tuna, yellowfin tuna, and an amberjack. We show that environmentally realistic exposures (1-15 µg/L total PAH) cause specific dose-dependent defects in cardiac function in all three species, with circulatory disruption culminating in pericardial edema and other secondary malformations. Each species displayed an irregular atrial arrhythmia following oil exposure, indicating a highly conserved response to oil toxicity. A considerable portion of Gulf water samples collected during the spill had PAH concentrations exceeding toxicity thresholds observed here, indicating the potential for losses of pelagic fish larvae. Vulnerability assessments in other ocean habitats, including the Arctic, should focus on the developing heart of resident fish species as an exceptionally sensitive and consistent indicator of crude oil impacts.

  4. Deepwater Horizon - baseline fisheries surveys conducted in the Gulf of Mexico from 1987-04-16 to 2010-08-01 (NCEI Accession 0150631)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — In 2010, the Deepwater Horizon oil spill occurred in the Gulf of Mexico and the Natural Resources Damage Assessment (NRDA) was initiated to determine the extent of...

  5. Historical oceanographic data and climatologies in support of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill event in the Gulf of Mexico (NODC Accession 0064867)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Data products and in situ oceanographic data collected as part of the Deepwater Horizon Event in the Gulf of Mexico (May 2010). The climatological fields detailed...

  6. The Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill: Ecogenomics of the Deep-Sea Plume

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hazen, T. C.

    2012-12-01

    The explosion on April 20, 2010 at the BP-leased Deepwater Horizon drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Louisiana, resulted in oil and gas rising to the surface and the oil coming ashore in many parts of the Gulf, it also resulted in the dispersment of an immense oil plume 4,000 feet below the surface of the water. Despite spanning more than 600 feet in the water column and extending more than 10 miles from the wellhead, the dispersed oil plume was gone within weeks after the wellhead was capped - degraded and diluted to undetectable levels. Furthermore, this degradation took place without significant oxygen depletion. Ecogenomics enabled discovery of new and unclassified species of oil-eating bacteria that apparently lives in the deep Gulf where oil seeps are common. Using 16s microarrays, functional gene arrays, clone libraries, lipid analysis and a variety of hydrocarbon and micronutrient analyses we were able to characterize the oil degraders. Metagenomic sequence data was obtained for the deep-water samples using the Illumina platform. In addition, single cells were sorted and sequenced for the some of the most dominant bacteria that were represented in the oil plume; namely uncultivated representatives of Colwellia and Oceanospirillum. In addition, we performed laboratory microcosm experiments using uncontaminated water collected from The Gulf at the depth of the oil plume to which we added oil and COREXIT. These samples were characterized by 454 pyrotag. The results provide information about the key players and processes involved in degradation of oil, with and without COREXIT, in different impacted environments in The Gulf of Mexico. We are also extending these studies to explore dozens of deep sediment samples that were also collected after the oil spill around the wellhead. This data suggests that a great potential for intrinsic bioremediation of oil plumes exists in the deep-sea and other environs in the Gulf of Mexico.

  7. Biodegradation of Hydrocarbons within the Water Column and Marsh Sediments following the Deepwater Horizon Accident

    Science.gov (United States)

    Atlas, R.; Cook, L.; Murray, K.; Cerrito, K.; Faith, S.; Boehm, P.

    2012-12-01

    Physical and chemical dispersion of oil released from the Deepwater Horizon spill between April 20 and July 15, 2010 resulted in fine droplets and dissolved hydrocarbons moving away from the wellhead within the water column. Both alkanes and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons were rapidly biodegraded as evidenced by detailed chemistry measurements using GC and GC-MS analyses of over 10,000 water samples. During the release (April-July), concentrations of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) attenuated rapidly with distance from the release point (the wellhead) and were seen to reach biodegradation. Loss of total and high molecular weight alkanes and PAH relative to the conserved biomarker hopane also showed that there was extensive hydrocarbon biodegradation. Shortly after the well was capped most of the hydrocarbons in the deepwater had been biodegraded to levels below analytical detection limits. Clearly microbial biodegradation of the oil within the water column removed many of the toxic components and reduced the overall impact of the oil released from the well. Oil that reached the water surface and formed slicks was less extensively biodegraded by microbes as it moved toward the shorelines. A study of impacted Louisiana coastal marshes 1 year later, however, showed that residual oil was very highly weathered with losses of alkanes and PAHs in the MC252 oiled sediment samples. Where sufficient oil was present for detailed chemical analyses changes in C17/pristine, C18/phytane, C2phenanthrene/C2dibenzothiophene, C3phenanthrene/C3dibenzothiophene, total polycyclic aromatics to hopane, and total heavy polycyclic aromatics (4-6 rings) to hopane showed evidence for extensive biodegradation. Molecular analyses performed with PhyloChip, GeoChip and whole metagenome sequencing confirmed that microbial populations in marsh sediments were capable of hydrocarbon biodegradation.

  8. From frequent hurricanes to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in coastal Louisiana: the impact of regulatory change

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    So-Min Cheong

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available The issue of whether adaptations to past disasters can impede adaptation to new disasters of a different type or intensity will be analyzed by examining the transition from frequent hurricanes to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in coastal Louisiana. In particular, the effects of changed regulatory structures from the Stafford Act to the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 in response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill are investigated. The article describes how the federal, state, and local governments adjust. In addition, it illustrates the shifting focus on the environment with the activation of the Oil Pollution Act and the Clean Water Act. It wraps up with a discussion of the uncertainty that is pervasive in the case of the oil spill derived from changed regulations and the novelty of the disaster.

  9. Public perceptions of the response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill: personal experiences, information sources, and social context.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Safford, Thomas G; Ulrich, Jessica D; Hamilton, Lawrence C

    2012-12-30

    The 2010 British Petroleum (BP) Deepwater Horizon oil spill highlighted long-standing questions about energy exploration and its social and environmental implications. Sociologists studying environmental disasters have documented the social impacts resulting from these events and dissatisfaction with government and industry responses. In this paper, we use data from a survey conducted during the Gulf of Mexico oil spill to examine how Louisiana and Florida residents' social backgrounds, experiences with the spill, and trust in information sources predict their perceptions of governmental and BP response efforts. We find that direct personal impacts and compensation strongly influence the evaluations of responding organizations. Age and place of residence also predict such assessments. Finally, levels of confidence in television news and BP as sources of information appear to shape Gulf Coast residents' opinions about the work of organizations responding to the Deepwater Horizon disaster.

  10. Synchronizing crisis responses after a transgression: An analysis of BP's enacted crisis response to the Deepwater Horizon crisis in 2010

    OpenAIRE

    Diers, AR; Donohue, J

    2013-01-01

    Purpose: With the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil well in the Gulf of Mexico on April 20, 2010 and until the well was officially "killed" on September 19, 2010, British Petroleum (BP) did not merely experience a crisis but a five-month marathon of sustained, multi-media engagement. Whereas traditional public relations theory teaches us that an organization should synchronize its messages across channels, there are no models to understand how an organization may strategically coordinate...

  11. The 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill: the trauma signature of an ecological disaster.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shultz, James M; Walsh, Lauren; Garfin, Dana Rose; Wilson, Fiona E; Neria, Yuval

    2015-01-01

    The 2010 Deepwater Horizon “British Petroleum (BP)” oil spill was a mega-disaster characterized as the petroleum industry’s largest-volume marine oil spill in history. Following a “wellhead blowout” that destroyed the drilling platform, 4.9 million barrels of petroleum flowed into the Gulf of Mexico over 87 days and the spill expanded to cover 68,000 square miles of sea surface. However, despite the expansive scope of the event, systematic surveys of affected coastal populations found only modest effects on mental health and substance abuse. An established trauma signature (TSIG) methodology was used to examine the psychological consequences in relation to exposure to the unique constellation of hazards associated with the spill. A hazard profile, a matrix of psychological stressors, and a “trauma signature” summary for the affected Gulf Coast population--in terms of exposure to hazard, loss, and change--were created specifically for this human-generated ecological disaster. Psychological risk characteristics of this event included: human causation featuring corporate culpability, large spill volume, protracted duration, coastal contamination from petroleum products, severe ecological damage, disruption of Gulf Coast industries and tourism, and extensive media coverage. The multiple impact effect was notable due to prior exposure of the region to Hurricane Katrina. These stressors were counterbalanced by the relative absence of other prominent risks for distress and psychopathology. Coastal residents did not experience significant onshore spill-related mortality or severe injury, shortages of survival needs, disruption of vital services (health care, schools, utilities, communications, and transportation), loss of homes, population displacement, destruction of the built environment, or loss of social supports. Initial acute economic losses were partially offset by large-sum BP payments for cleanup and recovery of the coastal economy. Not only did Gulf

  12. Long-term autonomous resistivity monitoring of oil-contaminated sediments from the Deepwater Horizon spill

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heenan, J. W.; Slater, L. D.; Ntarlagiannis, D.; Atekwana, E. A.; Ross, C.; Nolan, J. T.; Atekwana, E. A.; Werkema, D. D.; Fathepure, B.

    2012-12-01

    We conducted a long-term electrical resistivity survey at Grand Terre 1 (GT1) Island off the coast of Louisiana, a site contaminated with crude oil associated with the April 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Electrical resistivity has proven sensitivity to biogeochemical processes associated with the biodegradation of hydrocarbons in the subsurface. However, most of these studies have been in freshwater environments and for aged spills. The BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill therefore provided an unprecedented opportunity to capture the early time biogeophysical signals resulting from the physical, chemical and microbial transformation of crude oil in highly saline environments. We used a multi-channel resistivity system powered by solar panels to obtain continuous measurements twice a day on both a surface array and two shallow borehole arrays. This system operated for approximately 1.5 years and provided a unique long-term dataset of resistivity changes. Temperature and specific conductance values for the shallow groundwater were continuously logged. . Resistivity changes likely associated with biodegradation processes were then isolated from these environmental factors by modeling. In addition, groundwater was sampled for geochemical analyses from wells installed at the study site and soil samples were collected for microbial analyses at several locations, including both contaminated and uncontaminated locations. Microcosms were set up to determine the biodegradation potential of indigenous populations, and microbial diversity analysis was used to determine microbial community composition. Surface and borehole resistivity arrays revealed an initial resistive anomaly co-located with the known contamination. Pixel time series analysis of an inverted time sequence of resistivity sections highlighted differing responses between contaminated and uncontaminated locations. The contaminated locations exhibit persistent resistivity decreases over time, whereas areas

  13. Geohistorical records indicate no impact of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on oyster body size.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dietl, Gregory P; Durham, Stephen R

    2016-11-01

    Documentation of the near- and long-term effects of the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill, one of the largest environmental disasters in US history, is still ongoing. We used a novel before-after-control-impact analysis to test the hypothesis that average body size of intertidal populations of the eastern oyster (Crassostrea virginica) inhabiting impacted areas in Louisiana decreased due to increased stress/mortality related to the oil spill. Time-averaged death assemblages of oysters were used to establish a pre-spill baseline of body-size structure for four impacted and four control locations along a 350 km stretch of Louisiana's coastline. Post-spill body sizes were then measured from live oysters at each site in order to evaluate the differences in body size between oiled (i.e. impact) and unoiled (i.e. control) locations before and after the spill. Our results indicate that average body size of oysters remained relatively unchanged after the oil spill. There were also no temporal patterns in temperature, salinity or disease prevalence that could have explained our results. Together, these findings suggest that oysters either recovered rapidly following the immediate impact of the DWH oil spill, or that its impact was not severe enough to influence short-term population dynamics of the oyster beds.

  14. Biomarkers reveal sea turtles remained in oiled areas following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vander Zanden, Hannah B; Bolten, Alan B; Tucker, Anton D; Hart, Kristen M; Lamont, Margaret M; Fujisaki, Ikuko; Reich, Kimberly J; Addison, David S; Mansfield, Katherine L; Phillips, Katrina F; Pajuelo, Mariela; Bjorndal, Karen A

    2016-10-01

    Assessments of large-scale disasters, such as the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, are problematic because while measurements of post-disturbance conditions are common, measurements of pre-disturbance baselines are only rarely available. Without adequate observations of pre-disaster organismal and environmental conditions, it is impossible to assess the impact of such catastrophes on animal populations and ecological communities. Here, we use long-term biological tissue records to provide pre-disaster data for a vulnerable marine organism. Keratin samples from the carapace of loggerhead sea turtles record the foraging history for up to 18 years, allowing us to evaluate the effect of the oil spill on sea turtle foraging patterns. Samples were collected from 76 satellite-tracked adult loggerheads in 2011 and 2012, approximately one to two years after the spill. Of the 10 individuals that foraged in areas exposed to surface oil, none demonstrated significant changes in foraging patterns post spill. The observed long-term fidelity to foraging sites indicates that loggerheads in the northern Gulf of Mexico likely remained in established foraging sites, regardless of the introduction of oil and chemical dispersants. More research is needed to address potential long-term health consequences to turtles in this region. Mobile marine organisms present challenges for researchers to monitor effects of environmental disasters, both spatially and temporally. We demonstrate that biological tissues can reveal long-term histories of animal behavior and provide critical pre-disaster baselines following an anthropogenic disturbance or natural disaster.

  15. Recurrent oil sheens at the deepwater horizon disaster site fingerprinted with synthetic hydrocarbon drilling fluids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aeppli, Christoph; Reddy, Christopher M; Nelson, Robert K; Kellermann, Matthias Y; Valentine, David L

    2013-08-01

    We used alkenes commonly found in synthetic drilling-fluids to identify sources of oil sheens that were first observed in September 2012 close to the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) disaster site, more than two years after the Macondo well (MW) was sealed. While explorations of the sea floor by BP confirmed that the well was sound, they identified the likely source as leakage from an 80-ton cofferdam, abandoned during the operation to control the MW in May 2010. We acquired sheen samples and cofferdam oil and analyzed them using comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography. This allowed for the identification of drilling-fluid C16- to C18-alkenes in sheen samples that were absent in cofferdam oil. Furthermore, the spatial pattern of evaporative losses of sheen oil alkanes indicated that oil surfaced closer to the DWH wreckage than the cofferdam site. Last, ratios of alkenes and oil hydrocarbons pointed to a common source of oil found in sheen samples and recovered from oil-covered DWH debris collected shortly after the explosion. These lines of evidence suggest that the observed sheens do not originate from the MW, cofferdam, or from natural seeps. Rather, the likely source is oil in tanks and pits on the DWH wreckage, representing a finite oil volume for leakage.

  16. Deep impact : destruction and sinking of Deepwater Horizon a blow to offshore industry

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Anon.

    2010-06-15

    In the weeks following the blowout in British Petroleum's (BP) Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico on April 20, 2010, the implications for the industry spread quickly, impacting operations around the world. When the Deepwater Horizon exploded, killing 11 crew members, the immediate impact of the blowout resulted in at least 5,000 barrels per day of oil leaking out of the wellbore. This article discussed the impacts of the oil blowout from the well and the response from BP, rig owner Transocean Ltd., and Haliburton. As of mid-May, 2010, several attempts to plug the well were unsuccessful. Solutions that attempted to block the well from leaking were presented, including several low-tech solutions to attack the two main sources of oil which were the failed blowout preventer and the crumpled up riser resting on the sea floor. The article noted that as a last solution the well could be intersected with a relief well that could block the flow at depth. This option could take two or three months to reach the required depth. The article then discussed the costs of the oil spill to BP, fisheries, the tourism industry, and other hard-hit sectors. It was concluded that similar to the spill caused by the Exxon Valdez in Alaska 21 years ago, the Gulf disaster will affect the image of the industry for years to come. 5 figs.

  17. Evaluation of Blue Crab, Callinectes sapidus, Megalopal Settlement and Condition during the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erin K Grey

    Full Text Available The Blue Crab, Callinectes sapidus, is a commercially, culturally, and ecologically significant species in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM, whose offshore stages were likely impacted by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill (DWH. To test for DWH effects and to better understand the planktonic ecology of this species, we monitored Callinectes spp. megalopal settlement and condition at sites within and outside of the spill extent during and one year after the DWH. We tested for DWH effects by comparing 2010 settlement against baseline data available for two sites, and by testing for differences in settlement and condition inside and outside of the spill extent. We also developed time series models to better understand natural drivers of daily settlement variation (seasonal and lunar trends, hydrodynamics, wind during 2010 and 2011. Overall, we found that neither megalopal settlement nor body weight were significantly reduced at oiled sites, but that high unexplained variation and low statistical power made detection of even large effects unlikely. Time series models revealed remarkably consistent and relatively strong seasonal and lunar trends within sites (explaining on average 28% and 9% of variation, respectively, while wind and hydrodynamic effects were weak (1-5% variation explained and variable among sites. This study provides insights into DWH impacts as well as the natural drivers of Callinectes spp. megalopal settlement across the northern GOM.

  18. Evaluation of Blue Crab, Callinectes sapidus, Megalopal Settlement and Condition during the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grey, Erin K; Chiasson, Susan C; Williams, Hannah G; Troeger, Victoria J; Taylor, Caz M

    2015-01-01

    The Blue Crab, Callinectes sapidus, is a commercially, culturally, and ecologically significant species in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM), whose offshore stages were likely impacted by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill (DWH). To test for DWH effects and to better understand the planktonic ecology of this species, we monitored Callinectes spp. megalopal settlement and condition at sites within and outside of the spill extent during and one year after the DWH. We tested for DWH effects by comparing 2010 settlement against baseline data available for two sites, and by testing for differences in settlement and condition inside and outside of the spill extent. We also developed time series models to better understand natural drivers of daily settlement variation (seasonal and lunar trends, hydrodynamics, wind) during 2010 and 2011. Overall, we found that neither megalopal settlement nor body weight were significantly reduced at oiled sites, but that high unexplained variation and low statistical power made detection of even large effects unlikely. Time series models revealed remarkably consistent and relatively strong seasonal and lunar trends within sites (explaining on average 28% and 9% of variation, respectively), while wind and hydrodynamic effects were weak (1-5% variation explained) and variable among sites. This study provides insights into DWH impacts as well as the natural drivers of Callinectes spp. megalopal settlement across the northern GOM.

  19. Microbial community analysis of a coastal salt marsh affected by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Melanie J Beazley

    Full Text Available Coastal salt marshes are highly sensitive wetland ecosystems that can sustain long-term impacts from anthropogenic events such as oil spills. In this study, we examined the microbial communities of a Gulf of Mexico coastal salt marsh during and after the influx of petroleum hydrocarbons following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Total hydrocarbon concentrations in salt marsh sediments were highest in June and July 2010 and decreased in September 2010. Coupled PhyloChip and GeoChip microarray analyses demonstrated that the microbial community structure and function of the extant salt marsh hydrocarbon-degrading microbial populations changed significantly during the study. The relative richness and abundance of phyla containing previously described hydrocarbon-degrading bacteria (Proteobacteria, Bacteroidetes, and Actinobacteria increased in hydrocarbon-contaminated sediments and then decreased once hydrocarbons were below detection. Firmicutes, however, continued to increase in relative richness and abundance after hydrocarbon concentrations were below detection. Functional genes involved in hydrocarbon degradation were enriched in hydrocarbon-contaminated sediments then declined significantly (p<0.05 once hydrocarbon concentrations decreased. A greater decrease in hydrocarbon concentrations among marsh grass sediments compared to inlet sediments (lacking marsh grass suggests that the marsh rhizosphere microbial communities could also be contributing to hydrocarbon degradation. The results of this study provide a comprehensive view of microbial community structural and functional dynamics within perturbed salt marsh ecosystems.

  20. Extent and degree of shoreline oiling: Deepwater Horizon oil spill, Gulf of Mexico, USA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michel, Jacqueline; Owens, Edward H; Zengel, Scott; Graham, Andrew; Nixon, Zachary; Allard, Teresa; Holton, William; Reimer, P Doug; Lamarche, Alain; White, Mark; Rutherford, Nicolle; Childs, Carl; Mauseth, Gary; Challenger, Greg; Taylor, Elliott

    2013-01-01

    The oil from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico was documented by shoreline assessment teams as stranding on 1,773 km of shoreline. Beaches comprised 50.8%, marshes 44.9%, and other shoreline types 4.3% of the oiled shoreline. Shoreline cleanup activities were authorized on 660 km, or 73.3% of oiled beaches and up to 71 km, or 8.9% of oiled marshes and associated habitats. One year after the spill began, oil remained on 847 km; two years later, oil remained on 687 km, though at much lesser degrees of oiling. For example, shorelines characterized as heavily oiled went from a maximum of 360 km, to 22.4 km one year later, and to 6.4 km two years later. Shoreline cleanup has been conducted to meet habitat-specific cleanup endpoints and will continue until all oiled shoreline segments meet endpoints. The entire shoreline cleanup program has been managed under the Shoreline Cleanup Assessment Technique (SCAT) Program, which is a systematic, objective, and inclusive process to collect data on shoreline oiling conditions and support decision making on appropriate cleanup methods and endpoints. It was a particularly valuable and effective process during such a complex spill.

  1. Biomarkers reveal sea turtles remained in oiled areas following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vander Zanden, Hannah B.; Bolten, Alan B.; Tucker, Anton D.; Hart, Kristen M.; Lamont, Margaret M.; Fujisaki, Ikuko; Reich, Kimberly J.; Addison, David S.; Mansfield, Katherine L.; Phillips, Katrina F.; Pajuelo, Mariela; Bjorndal, Karen A.

    2016-01-01

    Assessments of large-scale disasters, such as the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, are problematic because while measurements of post-disturbance conditions are common, measurements of pre-disturbance baselines are only rarely available. Without adequate observations of pre-disaster organismal and environmental conditions, it is impossible to assess the impact of such catastrophes on animal populations and ecological communities. Here, we use long-term biological tissue records to provide pre-disaster data for a vulnerable marine organism. Keratin samples from the carapace of loggerhead sea turtles record the foraging history for up to 18 years, allowing us to evaluate the effect of the oil spill on sea turtle foraging patterns. Samples were collected from 76 satellite-tracked adult loggerheads in 2011 and 2012, approximately one to two years after the spill. Of the 10 individuals that foraged in areas exposed to surface oil, none demonstrated significant changes in foraging patterns post spill. The observed long-term fidelity to foraging sites indicates that loggerheads in the northern Gulf of Mexico likely remained in established foraging sites, regardless of the introduction of oil and chemical dispersants. More research is needed to address potential long-term health consequences to turtles in this region. Mobile marine organisms present challenges for researchers to monitor effects of environmental disasters, both spatially and temporally. We demonstrate that biological tissues can reveal long-term histories of animal behavior and provide critical pre-disaster baselines following an anthropogenic disturbance or natural disaster.

  2. Feature-based and statistical methods for analyzing the Deepwater Horizon oil spill with AVIRIS imagery

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rand, R.S.; Clark, R.N.; Livo, K.E.

    2011-01-01

    The Deepwater Horizon oil spill covered a very large geographical area in the Gulf of Mexico creating potentially serious environmental impacts on both marine life and the coastal shorelines. Knowing the oil's areal extent and thickness as well as denoting different categories of the oil's physical state is important for assessing these impacts. High spectral resolution data in hyperspectral imagery (HSI) sensors such as Airborne Visible and Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (AVIRIS) provide a valuable source of information that can be used for analysis by semi-automatic methods for tracking an oil spill's areal extent, oil thickness, and oil categories. However, the spectral behavior of oil in water is inherently a highly non-linear and variable phenomenon that changes depending on oil thickness and oil/water ratios. For certain oil thicknesses there are well-defined absorption features, whereas for very thin films sometimes there are almost no observable features. Feature-based imaging spectroscopy methods are particularly effective at classifying materials that exhibit specific well-defined spectral absorption features. Statistical methods are effective at classifying materials with spectra that exhibit a considerable amount of variability and that do not necessarily exhibit well-defined spectral absorption features. This study investigates feature-based and statistical methods for analyzing oil spills using hyperspectral imagery. The appropriate use of each approach is investigated and a combined feature-based and statistical method is proposed. ?? 2011 SPIE.

  3. Trace element distributions in the water column near the Deepwater Horizon well blowout.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joung, DongJoo; Shiller, Alan M

    2013-03-05

    To understand the impact of the Deepwater Horizon well blowout on dissolved trace element concentrations, samples were collected from areas around the oil rig explosion site during four cruises in early and late May 2010, October 2010, and October 2011. In surface waters, Ba, Fe, Cu, Ni, Mn, and Co were relatively well correlated with salinity during all cruises, suggesting mixing with river water was the main influence on metal distributions in these waters. However, in deep oil/gas plumes (1000-1400 m depth), modestly elevated concentrations of Co and Ba were observed in late May, compared with postblowout conditions. Analysis of the oil itself along with leaching experiments confirm the oil as the source of the Co, whereas increased Ba was likely due to drilling mud used in the top kill attempt. Deep plume dissolved Mn largely reflected natural benthic input, though some samples showed slight elevation probably associated with the top kill. Dissolved Fe concentrations were low and also appeared largely topographically controlled and reflective of benthic input. Estimates suggest that microbial Fe demand may have affected the Fe distribution but probably not to the extent of Fe becoming a growth-limiting factor. Experiments showed that the dispersant can have some limited impact on dissolved-particulate metal partitioning.

  4. Characterization of the particulate emissions from the BP Deepwater Horizon surface oil burns.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gullett, Brian K; Hays, Michael D; Tabor, Dennis; Wal, Randy Vander

    2016-06-15

    Sampling of the smoke plumes from the BP Deepwater Horizon surface oil burns led to the unintentional collection of soot particles on the sail of an instrument-bearing, tethered aerostat. This first-ever plume sampling from oil burned at an actual spill provided an opportunistic sample from which to characterize the particles' chemical properties for polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), organic carbon, elemental carbon, metals, and polychlorinated dibenzodioxins/dibenzofurans (PCDDs/PCDFs) and physical properties for size and nanostructure. Thermal-optical analyses indicated that the particulate matter was 93% carbon with 82% being refractory elemental carbon. PAHs accounted for roughly 68μg/g of the PM filter mass and 5mg/kg oil burned, much lower than earlier laboratory based studies. Microscopy indicated that the soot is distinct from more common soot by its aggregate size, primary particle size, and nanostructure. PM-bound metals were largely unremarkable but PCDD/PCDF formation was observed, contrary to other's findings. Levels of lighter PCDD/PCDF and PAH compounds were reduced compared to historical samples, possibly due to volatilization or photo-oxidation.

  5. Effects of sediment amended with Deepwater Horizon incident slick oil on the infaunal amphipod Leptocheirus plumulosus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lotufo, Guilherme R; Farrar, J Daniel; Biedenbach, James M; Laird, Jennifer G; Krasnec, Michelle O; Lay, Claire; Morris, Jeffrey M; Gielazyn, Michel L

    2016-08-15

    Crude oil released from the Deepwater Horizon disaster into the Gulf of Mexico posed potential impacts to infaunal invertebrates inhabiting near shore habitats. The effects of sediment-associated weathered slick oil on the amphipod Leptocheirus plumulosus was assessed using 28-d exposures to total PAH sediment concentrations ranging from 0.3 to 24mg/kg (sum of 50 PAHs or tPAH50). Survival and growth rate were significantly decreased in the 2.6, 11.4 and 24.2mg/kg treatments, but only growth in 5.5mg/kg. Offspring production was dramatically decreased but was variable and significantly different only for 24.2mg/kg. The concentrations associated with 20% decreases relative to reference were 1.05 (95% CI=0-2.89) mg/kg tPAH50 for growth rate and 0.632 (95% CI=0.11-2.15) mg/kg tPAH50 for offspring production. The concentrations of PAHs affecting amphipods are within the range of concentrations measured in marsh areas reportedly impacted by DWH oil after its release.

  6. Unexpected Sink for Deepwater Horizon Oil May Influence Future Spill Response

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kinner, Nancy E.; Belden, Laura; Kinner, Peter

    2014-05-01

    A town hall meeting was organized by the Marine Oil Snow Sedimentation and Flocculent Accumulation (MOSSFA) inter-consortia Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI) working group and the Center for Spills in the Environment in conjunction with the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill and Ecosystem Science Conference. The meeting had the goal of evaluating sedimentation to the seafloor as a significant pathway and fate of oil after the Deepwater Horizon (DwH) well blowout in 2010. About 78,000 cubic meters of crude oil were released into the Gulf of Mexico from a depth of 1500 meters for 86 days, spreading over a large area. Natural and chemically enhanced dispersion, evaporation, dissolution, burning, surface skimming, and direct capture at the wellhead accounted for a significant proportion of the released oil, but the fate of at least 30% of the oil remains unknown. Scientists from different research consortia studying sediments and marine snow in the Gulf began to observe signs of increased sedimentation and hydrocarbon deposition. Sediment mass accumulation rates for the northern Gulf of Mexico increased sixfold to eightfold in 2010, directly following the DwH blowout.

  7. Change and recovery of coastal mesozooplankton community structure during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carassou, L.; Hernandez, F. J.; Graham, W. M.

    2014-12-01

    The response of mesozooplankton community structure to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the northern Gulf of Mexico was investigated using data from a long-term plankton survey off the coast of Alabama (USA). Environmental conditions observed in the study area during the oil spill (2010) were compared to historical observations (2005-2009), to support the contention that variations observed in zooplankton assemblage structure may be attributed to the oil spill, as opposed to natural climatic or environmental variations. Zooplankton assemblage structure observed during the oil spill period (May-August) in 2010 was then compared to historical observations from the same period (2005-2009). Significant variations were detected in assemblage structure in May and June 2010, but these changes were no longer significant by July 2010. The density of ostracods, cladocerans and echinoderm larvae were responsible for most of the differences observed, but patterns differed depending on taxa and months. Many taxa had higher densities during the oil spill year, including calanoid and cyclopoid copepods, ostracods, bivalve larvae and cladocerans, among others. Although this result is somewhat surprising, it is possible that increased microbial activity related to the infusion of oil carbon may have stimulated secondary production through microbial-zooplankton trophic linkages. Overall, results suggest that, although changes in zooplankton community composition were observed during the oil spill, variations were weak and recovery was rapid.

  8. Microbial Responses to the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill: From Coastal Wetlands to the Deep Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    King, G. M.; Kostka, J. E.; Hazen, T. C.; Sobecky, P. A.

    2015-01-01

    The Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the northern Gulf of Mexico represents the largest marine accidental oil spill in history. It is distinguished from past spills in that it occurred at the greatest depth (1,500 m), the amount of hydrocarbon gas (mostly methane) lost was equivalent to the mass of crude oil released, and dispersants were used for the first time in the deep sea in an attempt to remediate the spill. The spill is also unique in that it has been characterized with an unprecedented level of resolution using next-generation sequencing technologies, especially for the ubiquitous hydrocarbon-degrading microbial communities that appeared largely to consume the gases and to degrade a significant fraction of the petroleum. Results have shown an unexpectedly rapid response of deep-sea Gammaproteobacteria to oil and gas and documented a distinct succession correlated with the control of the oil flow and well shut-in. Similar successional events, also involving Gammaproteobacteria, have been observed in nearshore systems as well.

  9. Impacts of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on the salt marsh vegetation of Louisiana.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hester, Mark W; Willis, Jonathan M; Rouhani, Shahrokh; Steinhoff, Marla A; Baker, Mary C

    2016-09-01

    The coastal wetland vegetation component of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill Natural Resource Damage Assessment documented significant injury to the plant production and health of Louisiana salt marshes exposed to oiling. Specifically, marsh sites experiencing trace or greater vertical oiling of plant tissues displayed reductions in cover and peak standing crop relative to reference (no oiling), particularly in the marsh edge zone, for the majority of this four year study. Similarly, elevated chlorosis of plant tissue, as estimated by a vegetation health index, was detected for marsh sites with trace or greater vertical oiling in the first two years of the study. Key environmental factors, such as hydrologic regime, elevation, and soil characteristics, were generally similar across plant oiling classes (including reference), indicating that the observed injury to plant production and health was the result of plant oiling and not potential differences in environmental setting. Although fewer significant impacts to plant production and health were detected in the latter years of the study, this is due in part to decreased sample size occurring as a result of erosion (shoreline retreat) and resultant loss of plots, and should not be misconstrued as indicating full recovery of the ecosystem.

  10. Dramatic shifts in benthic microbial eukaryote communities following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

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    Holly M Bik

    Full Text Available Benthic habitats harbour a significant (yet unexplored diversity of microscopic eukaryote taxa, including metazoan phyla, protists, algae and fungi. These groups are thought to underpin ecosystem functioning across diverse marine environments. Coastal marine habitats in the Gulf of Mexico experienced visible, heavy impacts following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010, yet our scant knowledge of prior eukaryotic biodiversity has precluded a thorough assessment of this disturbance. Using a marker gene and morphological approach, we present an intensive evaluation of microbial eukaryote communities prior to and following oiling around heavily impacted shorelines. Our results show significant changes in community structure, with pre-spill assemblages of diverse Metazoa giving way to dominant fungal communities in post-spill sediments. Post-spill fungal taxa exhibit low richness and are characterized by an abundance of known hydrocarbon-degrading genera, compared to prior communities that contained smaller and more diverse fungal assemblages. Comparative taxonomic data from nematodes further suggests drastic impacts; while pre-spill samples exhibit high richness and evenness of genera, post-spill communities contain mainly predatory and scavenger taxa alongside an abundance of juveniles. Based on this community analysis, our data suggest considerable (hidden initial impacts across Gulf beaches may be ongoing, despite the disappearance of visible surface oil in the region.

  11. Disturbance and recovery of salt marsh arthropod communities following BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brittany D McCall

    Full Text Available Oil spills represent a major environmental threat to coastal wetlands, which provide a variety of critical ecosystem services to humanity. The U.S. Gulf of Mexico is a hub of oil and gas exploration activities that historically have impacted intertidal habitats such as salt marsh. Following the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill, we sampled the terrestrial arthropod community and marine invertebrates found in stands of Spartina alterniflora, the most abundant plant in coastal salt marshes. Sampling occurred in 2010 as oil was washing ashore and a year later in 2011. In 2010, intertidal crabs and terrestrial arthropods (insects and spiders were suppressed by oil exposure even in seemingly unaffected stands of plants; however, Littoraria snails were unaffected. One year later, crab and arthropods had largely recovered. Our work is the first attempt that we know of assessing vulnerability of the salt marsh arthropod community to oil exposure, and it suggests that arthropods are both quite vulnerable to oil exposure and quite resilient, able to recover from exposure within a year if host plants remain healthy.

  12. Analysis and modeling of airborne BTEX concentrations from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Avens, Heather J; Unice, Ken M; Sahmel, Jennifer; Gross, Sherilyn A; Keenan, James J; Paustenbach, Dennis J

    2011-09-01

    Concerns have been raised about whether the Deepwater Horizon oil spill cleanup workers experienced adverse health effects from exposure to airborne benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylene (BTEX) which volatilized from surfaced oil. Thus, we analyzed the nearly 20 000 BTEX measurements of breathing zone air samples of offshore cleanup workers taken during the six months following the incident (made publicly available by British Petroleum). The measurements indicate that 99% of the measurements taken prior to capping the well were 32-, 510-, 360-, and 77-fold lower than the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration's Permissible Exposure Limits (PELs) for BTEX, respectively. BTEX measurements did not decrease appreciably during the three months after the well was capped. Moreover, the magnitudes of these data were similar to measurements from ships not involved in oil slick remediation, suggesting that the BTEX measurements were primarily due to engine exhaust rather than the oil slick. To supplement the data analysis, two modeling approaches were employed to estimate airborne BTEX concentrations under a variety of conditions (e.g., oil slick thickness, wind velocity). The modeling results corroborated that BTEX concentrations from the oil were well below PELs and that the oil was not the primary contributor to the measured BTEX.

  13. Sampling protocol for post-landfall Deepwater Horizon oil release, Gulf of Mexico, 2010

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilde, F.D.; Skrobialowski, S.C.; Hart, J.S.

    2010-01-01

    The protocols and procedures described in this report are designed to be used by U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) field teams for the collection of environmental data and samples in coastal areas affected by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. This sampling protocol focuses specifically on sampling for water, sediments, benthic invertebrates, and microorganisms (ambient bacterial populations) after shoreline arrival of petroleum-associated product on beach, barrier island, and wetland environments of the Gulf of Mexico coastal states. Deployment to sampling sites, site setup, and sample collection in these environments necessitates modifications to standard USGS sampling procedures in order to address the regulatory, logistical, and legal requirements associated with samples collected in oil-impacted coastal areas. This document, therefore, has been written as an addendum to the USGS National Field Manual for the Collection of Water-Quality Data (NFM) (http://pubs.water.usgs.gov/twri9A/), which provides the basis for training personnel in the use of standard USGS sampling protocols. The topics covered in this Gulf of Mexico oil-spill sampling protocol augment NFM protocols for field-deployment preparations, health and safety precautions, sampling and quality-assurance procedures, and decontamination requirements under potentially hazardous environmental conditions. Documentation procedures and maintenance of sample integrity by use of chain-of-custody procedures also are described in this protocol.

  14. Rapid degradation of Deepwater Horizon spilled oil by indigenous microbial communities in Louisiana saltmarsh sediments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahmoudi, Nagissa; Porter, Teresita M; Zimmerman, Andrew R; Fulthorpe, Roberta R; Kasozi, Gabriel N; Silliman, Brian R; Slater, Greg F

    2013-01-01

    The Deepwater Horizon oil spill led to the severe contamination of coastal environments in the Gulf of Mexico. A previous study detailed coastal saltmarsh erosion and recovery in a number of oil-impacted and nonimpacted reference sites in Barataria Bay, Louisiana over the first 18 months after the spill. Concentrations of alkanes and polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) at oil-impacted sites significantly decreased over this time period. Here, a combination of DNA, lipid, and isotopic approaches confirm that microbial biodegradation was contributing to the observed petroleum mass loss. Natural abundance (14)C analysis of microbial phospholipid fatty acids (PLFA) reveals that petroleum-derived carbon was a primary carbon source for microbial communities at impacted sites several months following oil intrusion when the highest concentrations of oil were present. Also at this time, microbial community analysis suggests that community structure of all three domains has shifted with the intrusion of oil. These results suggest that Gulf of Mexico marsh sediments have considerable biodegradation potential and that natural attenuation is playing a role in impacted sites.

  15. Where the oil from surface and subsurface plumes deposited during/after Deepwater Horizon oil spill?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yan, B.

    2016-02-01

    The Deepwater Horizon (DwH) oil spill released an estimated 4.9 million barrels (about 200 million gallons) of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico between April 20, 2010 and July 15, 2010. Though Valentine et al. has linked the elevated oil components in some sediments with the subsurface plume, the sites with fallout from the ocean surface plume has not been identified. This piece of information is critical not only for a comprehensive scientific understanding of the ecosystem response and fate of spill-related pollutants, but also for litigation purposes and future spill response and restoration planning. In this study we focus on testing the hypothesis that marine snow from the surface plume were deposited on the sea floor over a broad area. To do so, we use publicly available data generated as part of the ongoing Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) process to assess the spatial distribution of petroleum hydrocarbons in the water column and deep-ocean sediments of the Gulf of Mexico. Sensitive hydrocarbon markers are used to differentiate hydrocarbons from surface plume, deep subsurface plume, and in-situ burning. Preliminary results suggest the overlapping but different falling sites of these plumes and the sedimentation process was controlled by various biological, chemical, and physical factors.

  16. Extent and degree of shoreline oiling: Deepwater Horizon oil spill, Gulf of Mexico, USA.

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    Jacqueline Michel

    Full Text Available The oil from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico was documented by shoreline assessment teams as stranding on 1,773 km of shoreline. Beaches comprised 50.8%, marshes 44.9%, and other shoreline types 4.3% of the oiled shoreline. Shoreline cleanup activities were authorized on 660 km, or 73.3% of oiled beaches and up to 71 km, or 8.9% of oiled marshes and associated habitats. One year after the spill began, oil remained on 847 km; two years later, oil remained on 687 km, though at much lesser degrees of oiling. For example, shorelines characterized as heavily oiled went from a maximum of 360 km, to 22.4 km one year later, and to 6.4 km two years later. Shoreline cleanup has been conducted to meet habitat-specific cleanup endpoints and will continue until all oiled shoreline segments meet endpoints. The entire shoreline cleanup program has been managed under the Shoreline Cleanup Assessment Technique (SCAT Program, which is a systematic, objective, and inclusive process to collect data on shoreline oiling conditions and support decision making on appropriate cleanup methods and endpoints. It was a particularly valuable and effective process during such a complex spill.

  17. Extent and Degree of Shoreline Oiling: Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, Gulf of Mexico, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michel, Jacqueline; Owens, Edward H.; Zengel, Scott; Graham, Andrew; Nixon, Zachary; Allard, Teresa; Holton, William; Reimer, P. Doug; Lamarche, Alain; White, Mark; Rutherford, Nicolle; Childs, Carl; Mauseth, Gary; Challenger, Greg; Taylor, Elliott

    2013-01-01

    The oil from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico was documented by shoreline assessment teams as stranding on 1,773 km of shoreline. Beaches comprised 50.8%, marshes 44.9%, and other shoreline types 4.3% of the oiled shoreline. Shoreline cleanup activities were authorized on 660 km, or 73.3% of oiled beaches and up to 71 km, or 8.9% of oiled marshes and associated habitats. One year after the spill began, oil remained on 847 km; two years later, oil remained on 687 km, though at much lesser degrees of oiling. For example, shorelines characterized as heavily oiled went from a maximum of 360 km, to 22.4 km one year later, and to 6.4 km two years later. Shoreline cleanup has been conducted to meet habitat-specific cleanup endpoints and will continue until all oiled shoreline segments meet endpoints. The entire shoreline cleanup program has been managed under the Shoreline Cleanup Assessment Technique (SCAT) Program, which is a systematic, objective, and inclusive process to collect data on shoreline oiling conditions and support decision making on appropriate cleanup methods and endpoints. It was a particularly valuable and effective process during such a complex spill. PMID:23776444

  18. Persistent impacts to the deep soft-bottom benthos one year after the Deepwater Horizon event.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montagna, Paul A; Baguley, Jeffrey G; Cooksey, Cynthia; Hyland, Jeffrey L

    2017-03-01

    In fall 2010, several months after the Deepwater Horizon blowout was capped, zones of moderate and severe impacts to deep-sea, soft-bottom benthos were identified that together extended over an area of 172 km(2) . A subset of stations sampled in 2010 was resampled in May and June 2011, 10 to 11 months after the event, to determine whether the identified adverse effects were persisting. The design compared 20 stations from the combined moderate and severe impact zone to 12 stations in the reference zone that were sampled in both years. There were no statistically significant differences in contaminant concentrations between the impact and nonimpact zones from 2010 to 2011, which indicates contaminants persisted after 1 y. Whereas there were some signs of recovery in 2011 (particularly for the meiofauna abundance and diversity), there was evidence of persistent, statistically significant impacts to both macrofauna and meiofauna community structure. Macrofaunal taxa richness and diversity in 2011 were still 22.8% and 35.9% less, respectively, in the entire impact zone than in the surrounding nonimpact area, and meiofaunal richness was 28.5% less in the entire impact zone than in the surrounding area. The persistence of significant biodiversity losses and community structure change nearly 1 y after the wellhead was capped indicates that full recovery had yet to have occurred in 2011. Integr Environ Assess Manag 2017;13:342-351. © 2016 SETAC.

  19. Perceived resilience: Examining impacts of the deepwater horizon oil spill one-year post-spill.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shenesey, Jessica W; Langhinrichsen-Rohling, Jennifer

    2015-05-01

    Scant research has focused on resilient responding to disasters such as oil spills a year or more after the event. One year after the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill, this study assessed perceived resilience, relations between resiliency and psychological symptoms, and the degree to which self-reported resiliency was associated with reduced psychological symptoms after accounting for differences in economic impact sustained by Gulf Coast residents. Participants were 812 adults (64% women, mean age 50) of 2 Alabama coastal communities. Participants were administered a telephone survey 1-year post-spill assessing self-perceptions of impact factors (e.g., economic and social), resilience, coping, and depressive and PTSD symptoms. Most participants perceived themselves as resilient (n = 739). As expected, lower perceived resilience was associated with greater ongoing depressive and PTSD symptoms. Spill-related economic impact predicted greater depressive and PTSD symptoms; however, perceived resilience predicted significant variance in psychological symptoms after taking into account spill-related economic impact. Improving individuals' sense of resiliency may help mitigate psychosocial and mental health effects over time.

  20. The Discovery of Deep Oil Plumes at the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Site (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diercks, A. R.; Asper, V. L.; Highsmith, R. C.; Woolsey, M.; Lohrenz, S. E.; McLetchie, K.; Gossett, A.; Lowe, M., III; Joung, D.; McKay, L.

    2010-12-01

    In May 2010, the National Institute for Undersea Science and Technology (NIUST), a partnership of the University of Mississippi, the University of Southern Mississippi and NOAA, had a 17-day research cruise aboard the UNOLS vessel R/V Pelican scheduled. Two weeks before departure, the Deepwater Horizon oil platform burned and sank, resulting in an uncontrolled oil spill at a depth of ~1500 m at Mississippi Canyon Block 252. The initial mission plan to do AUV surveys of wrecks and hydrate outcrops in the northern Gulf of Mexico, some of them very close to the site of the accident, was abandoned in favor of responding to the still uncontrolled oil spill. The primary goals of the redefined cruise were to acquire baseline and early impact data for seafloor sediments and subsurface distribution of oil and gas hydrates as close as possible in time and space to the origin of the oil spill. Investigating an oil spill nearly a mile deep in the ocean presents special benthic sampling and subsurface oil detection challenges. NIUST’s AUV’s were unloaded from the ship and a large main winch installed to allow operation of a full ocean depth box corer for collecting sediment samples in water depths up to 2000 m. During the first five-day leg of the cruise, a total of 28 box cores were collected. The Pelican returned to port (Cocodrie, LA) to drop off sediment and water samples for immediate analyses, and to take on more sampling gear and supplies for the second leg of the cruise, including an Acrobat, a CDOM fluorometer, a Video Ray ROV, and a CO2 sensor in addition to the already installed CTD Rosette with O2 sensor and beam transmissometer. During Leg 2, CTD stations were plotted to cover the area surrounding the wreck site and at various water depths to map the subsurface water column structure and chemistry as baseline values for future investigations and especially to look for submerged oil and/or gas hydrates. Early in the water column sampling, a subsurface feature

  1. Characterization of epibenthic and demersal megafauna at Mississippi Canyon 252 shortly after the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valentine, Marla M; Benfield, Mark C

    2013-12-15

    The Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill resulted in the release of a large quantity of oil and gas into the northern Gulf of Mexico from a bathypelagic source. Due to a lack of pre-spill quantitative data the baseline condition of the communities near the spill site is unknown. This makes it difficult to determine the impact of the spill on deepwater megafauna. Remotely operated vehicles were used to quantify megafauna at five study sites during August and September 2010:2000 m north, west, south, and east, and 500 m north of the Macondo well. Comparisons of animal abundances indicated that 2000 m-N and 2000 m-W had the greatest taxonomic richness and highest abundances while 2000 m-E had slightly lower values. In contrast 500 m-N and 2000 m-S had the lowest taxonomic richness and abundances. Our study also suggests that certain taxa were potentially more resistant or sensitive to the spill.

  2. Hydrologic remediation for the Deepwater Horizon incident drove ancillary primary production increase in coastal swamps

    Science.gov (United States)

    Middleton, Beth A.; Johnson, Darren; Roberts, Brian J

    2015-01-01

    As coastal wetlands subside worldwide, there is an urgency to understand the hydrologic drivers and dynamics of plant production and peat accretion. One incidental test of the effects of high rates of discharge on forested wetland production occurred in response to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon incident, in which all diversions in Louisiana were operated at or near their maximum discharge level for an extended period to keep offshore oil from threatened coastal wetlands. Davis Pond Diversion was operated at six times the normal discharge levels for almost 4 months, so that Taxodium distichum swamps downstream of the diversion experienced greater inundation and lower salinity. After this remediation event in 2010, above-ground litter production increased by 2.7 times of production levels in 2007–2011. Biomass of the leaf and reproductive tissues of several species increased; wood litter was minimal and did not change during this period. Root production decreased in 2010 but subsequently returned to pre-remediation values in 2011. Both litter and root production remained high in the second growing season after hydrologic remediation. Annual tree growth (circumference increment) was not significantly altered by the remediation. The potential of freshwater pulses for regulating tidal swamp production is further supported by observations of higher T. distichum growth in lower salinity and/or pulsed environments across the U.S. Gulf Coast. Usage of freshwater pulses to manage altered estuaries deserves further consideration, particularly because the timing and duration of such pulses could influence both primary production and peat accretion.

  3. Abundance and size of Gulf shrimp in Louisiana's coastal estuaries following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van der Ham, Joris L; de Mutsert, Kim

    2014-01-01

    The Deepwater Horizon oil spill impacted Louisiana's coastal estuaries physically, chemically, and biologically. To better understand the ecological consequences of this oil spill on Louisiana estuaries, we compared the abundance and size of two Gulf shrimp species (Farfantepeneus aztecus and Litopeneus setiferus) in heavily affected and relatively unaffected estuaries, before and after the oil spill. Two datasets were used to conduct this study: data on shrimp abundance and size before the spill were available from Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF). Data on shrimp abundance and size from after the spill were independently collected by the authors and by LDWF. Using a Before-After-Control-Impact with Paired sampling (BACIP) design with monthly samples of two selected basins, we found brown shrimp to become more abundant and the mean size of white shrimp to become smaller. Using a BACIP with data on successive shrimp year-classes of multiple basins, we found both species to become more abundant in basins that were affected by the spill, while mean shrimp size either not change after the spill, or increased in both affected and unaffected basins. We conclude that following the oil spill abundances of both species increased within affected estuaries, whereas mean size may have been unaffected. We propose two factors that may have caused these results: 1) exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) may have reduced the growth rate of shrimp, resulting in a delayed movement of shrimp to offshore habitats, and an increase of within-estuary shrimp abundance, and 2) fishing closures established immediately after the spill, may have resulted in decreased fishing effort and an increase in shrimp abundance. This study accentuates the complexities in determining ecological effects of oil spills, and the need of studies on the organismal level to reveal cause-and-effect relationships of such events.

  4. Enrichment of Fusobacteria in Sea Surface Oil Slicks from the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gutierrez, Tony; Berry, David; Teske, Andreas; Aitken, Michael D

    2016-07-27

    The Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill led to rapid microbial community shifts in the Gulf of Mexico, including the formation of unprecedented quantities of marine oil snow (MOS) and of a massive subsurface oil plume. The major taxa that bloomed in sea surface oil slicks during the spill included Cycloclasticus, and to a lesser extent Halomonas, Alteromonas, and Pseudoalteromonas-organisms that grow and degrade oil hydrocarbons aerobically. Here, we show that sea surface oil slicks at DWH contained obligate and facultative anaerobic taxa, including members of the obligate anaerobic phylum Fusobacteria that are commonly found in marine sediment environments. Pyrosequencing analysis revealed that Fusobacteria were strongly selected for when sea surface oil slicks were allowed to develop anaerobically. These organisms have been found in oil-contaminated sediments in the Gulf of Mexico, in deep marine oil reservoirs, and other oil-contaminated sites, suggesting they have putative hydrocarbon-degrading qualities. The occurrence and strong selection for Fusobacteria in a lab-based incubation of a sea surface oil slick sample collected during the spill suggests that these organisms may have become enriched in anaerobic zones of suspended particulates, such as MOS. Whilst the formation and rapid sinking of MOS is recognised as an important mechanism by which a proportion of the Macondo oil had been transported to the sea floor, its role in potentially transporting microorganisms, including oil-degraders, from the upper reaches of the water column to the seafloor should be considered. The presence of Fusobacteria on the sea surface-a highly oxygenated environment-is intriguing, and may be explained by the vertical upsurge of oil that provided a carrier to transport these organisms from anaerobic/micro-aerophilic zones in the oil plume or seabed to the upper reaches of the water column. We also propose that the formation of rapidly-sinking MOS may have re-transported these

  5. Review of flow rate estimates of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill

    Science.gov (United States)

    McNutt, Marcia K.; Camilli, Rich; Crone, Timothy J.; Guthrie, George D.; Hsieh, Paul A.; Ryerson, Thomas B.; Savas, Omer; Shaffer, Frank

    2012-01-01

    The unprecedented nature of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill required the application of research methods to estimate the rate at which oil was escaping from the well in the deep sea, its disposition after it entered the ocean, and total reservoir depletion. Here, we review what advances were made in scientific understanding of quantification of flow rates during deep sea oil well blowouts. We assess the degree to which a consensus was reached on the flow rate of the well by comparing in situ observations of the leaking well with a time-dependent flow rate model derived from pressure readings taken after the Macondo well was shut in for the well integrity test. Model simulations also proved valuable for predicting the effect of partial deployment of the blowout preventer rams on flow rate. Taken together, the scientific analyses support flow rates in the range of ~50,000–70,000 barrels/d, perhaps modestly decreasing over the duration of the oil spill, for a total release of ~5.0 million barrels of oil, not accounting for BP's collection effort. By quantifying the amount of oil at different locations (wellhead, ocean surface, and atmosphere), we conclude that just over 2 million barrels of oil (after accounting for containment) and all of the released methane remained in the deep sea. By better understanding the fate of the hydrocarbons, the total discharge can be partitioned into separate components that pose threats to deep sea vs. coastal ecosystems, allowing responders in future events to scale their actions accordingly.

  6. Regime shift in sandy beach microbial communities following Deepwater Horizon oil spill remediation efforts.

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    Annette Summers Engel

    Full Text Available Sandy beaches support a wide variety of underappreciated biodiversity that is critical to coastal ecosystems. Prior to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the diversity and function of supratidal beach sediment microbial communities along Gulf of Mexico coastlines were not well understood. As such, it was unclear if microbial community compositional changes would occur following exposure to beached oil, if indigenous communities could biodegrade oil, or how cleanup efforts, such as sand washing and sediment redistribution, would impact microbial ecosystem resiliency. Transects perpendicular to the shoreline were sampled from public beaches on Grand Isle, Louisiana, and Dauphin Island, Alabama, over one year. Prior to oil coming onshore, elevated levels of bacteria associated with fecal contamination were detected (e.g., Enterobacteriales and Campylobacterales. Over time, significant shifts within major phyla were identified (e.g., Proteobacteria, Firmicutes, Actinobacteria and fecal indicator groups were replaced by taxa affiliated with open-ocean and marine systems (e.g., Oceanospirillales, Rhodospirillales, and Rhodobacterales. These new bacterial groups included putative hydrocarbon degraders, similar to those identified near the oil plume offshore. Shifts in the microbial community composition strongly correlated to more poorly sorted sediment and grain size distributional changes. Natural oceanographic processes could not account for the disrupted sediment, especially from the backshore well above the maximum high-tide levels recorded at these sites. Sand washing and tilling occurred on both open beaches from August through at least December 2010, which were mechanisms that could replace fecal indicator groups with open-ocean groups. Consequently, remediation efforts meant to return beaches to pre-spill compositions caused a regime shift that may have added potential ecosystem function, like hydrocarbon degradation, to the sediment

  7. Impact of Deepwater Horizon spill on food supply to deep-sea benthos communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prouty, N. G.; Campbell, P. L.; Mienis, F.; Duineveld, G.; Demopoulos, A. W. J.; Ross, S. W.; Brooke, S.

    2016-02-01

    Deep-sea ecosystems encompass unique and often fragile communities that are sensitive to a variety of anthropogenic and natural impacts. After the 2010 Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill, sampling efforts documented the acute impact of the spill on some deep-sea coral colonies. To investigate the impact of the DWH spill on quality and quantity of biomass delivered to the deep-sea, a suite of geochemical tracers (e.g., stable and radio-isotopes, lipid biomarkers, and compound-specific isotopes) was measured from monthly sediment trap samples deployed near a high-density deep-coral site in the Viosca Knoll area of the north-central Gulf of Mexico prior to (Oct-2008 to Sept-2009) and after the spill (Oct-10 to Sept-11). Marine (e.g., autochthonous) sources of organic matter (OM) dominated the sediment traps in both years, however after the spill, there was a pronounced reduction in marine-sourced OM, including a reduction in marine-sourced sterols and n-alkanes and a concomitant decrease in sediment trap organic carbon and pigment flux. Results from this study indicate a reduction in primary production and carbon export to the deep-sea in 2010-2011, at least 6-18 months after the spill started. Whereas satellite observations indicate an initial increase in phytoplankton biomass, results from this sediment trap study define a reduction in primary production and carbon export to the deep-sea community. In addition, a dilution from a low-14C carbon source (e.g., petro-carbon) was detected in the sediment trap samples after the spill, in conjunction with a change in the petrogenic composition. The data presented here fills a critical gap in our knowledge of biogeochemical processes and sub-acute impacts to the deep-sea that ensued after the 2010 DWH spill.

  8. Detection of Oil near Shorelines during the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Using Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Oscar Garcia-Pineda

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available During any marine oil spill, floating oil slicks that reach shorelines threaten a wide array of coastal habitats. To assess the presence of oil near shorelines during the Deepwater Horizon (DWH oil spill, we scanned the library of Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR imagery collected during the event to determine which images intersected shorelines and appeared to contain oil. In total, 715 SAR images taken during the DWH spill were analyzed and processed, with 188 of the images clearly showing oil. Of these, 156 SAR images showed oil within 10 km of the shoreline with appropriate weather conditions for the detection of oil on SAR data. We found detectable oil in SAR images within 10 km of the shoreline from west Louisiana to west Florida, including near beaches, marshes, and islands. The high number of SAR images collected in Barataria Bay, Louisiana in 2010 allowed for the creation of a nearshore oiling persistence map. This analysis shows that, in some areas inside Barataria Bay, floating oil was detected on as many as 29 different days in 2010. The nearshore areas with persistent floating oil corresponded well with areas where ground survey crews discovered heavy shoreline oiling. We conclude that satellite-based SAR imagery can detect oil slicks near shorelines, even in sheltered areas. These data can help assess potential shoreline oil exposure without requiring boats or aircraft. This method can be particularly helpful when shoreline assessment crews are hampered by difficult access or, in the case of DWH, a particularly large spatial and temporal spill extent.

  9. A decline in benthic foraminifera following the deepwater horizon event in the northeastern Gulf of Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwing, Patrick T; Romero, Isabel C; Brooks, Gregg R; Hastings, David W; Larson, Rebekka A; Hollander, David J

    2015-01-01

    Sediment cores were collected from three sites (1000-1200 m water depth) in the northeastern Gulf of Mexico from December 2010 to June 2011 to assess changes in benthic foraminiferal density related to the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) event (April-July 2010, 1500 m water depth). Short-lived radioisotope geochronologies (²¹⁰Pb, ²³⁴Th), organic geochemical assessments, and redox metal concentrations were determined to relate changes in sediment accumulation rate, contamination, and redox conditions with benthic foraminiferal density. Cores collected in December 2010 indicated a decline in density (80-93%). This decline was characterized by a decrease in benthic foraminiferal density and benthic foraminiferal accumulation rate (BFAR) in the surface 10 mm relative to the down-core mean in all benthic foraminifera, including the dominant genera (Bulimina spp., Uvigerina spp., and Cibicidoides spp.). Cores collected in February 2011 documented a site-specific response. There was evidence of a recovery in the benthic foraminiferal density and BFAR at the site closest to the wellhead (45 NM, NE). However, the site farther afield (60 NM, NE) recorded a continued decline in benthic foraminiferal density and BFAR down to near-zero values. This decline in benthic foraminiferal density occurred simultaneously with abrupt increases in sedimentary accumulation rates, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) concentrations, and changes in redox conditions. Persistent reducing conditions (as many as 10 months after the event) in the surface of these core records were a possible cause of the decline. Another possible cause was the increase (2-3 times background) in PAH's, which are known to cause benthic foraminifera mortality and inhibit reproduction. Records of benthic foraminiferal density coupled with short-lived radionuclide geochronology and organic geochemistry were effective in quantifying the benthic response and will continue to be a valuable tool in determining the long

  10. A decline in benthic foraminifera following the deepwater horizon event in the northeastern Gulf of Mexico.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patrick T Schwing

    Full Text Available Sediment cores were collected from three sites (1000-1200 m water depth in the northeastern Gulf of Mexico from December 2010 to June 2011 to assess changes in benthic foraminiferal density related to the Deepwater Horizon (DWH event (April-July 2010, 1500 m water depth. Short-lived radioisotope geochronologies (²¹⁰Pb, ²³⁴Th, organic geochemical assessments, and redox metal concentrations were determined to relate changes in sediment accumulation rate, contamination, and redox conditions with benthic foraminiferal density. Cores collected in December 2010 indicated a decline in density (80-93%. This decline was characterized by a decrease in benthic foraminiferal density and benthic foraminiferal accumulation rate (BFAR in the surface 10 mm relative to the down-core mean in all benthic foraminifera, including the dominant genera (Bulimina spp., Uvigerina spp., and Cibicidoides spp.. Cores collected in February 2011 documented a site-specific response. There was evidence of a recovery in the benthic foraminiferal density and BFAR at the site closest to the wellhead (45 NM, NE. However, the site farther afield (60 NM, NE recorded a continued decline in benthic foraminiferal density and BFAR down to near-zero values. This decline in benthic foraminiferal density occurred simultaneously with abrupt increases in sedimentary accumulation rates, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH concentrations, and changes in redox conditions. Persistent reducing conditions (as many as 10 months after the event in the surface of these core records were a possible cause of the decline. Another possible cause was the increase (2-3 times background in PAH's, which are known to cause benthic foraminifera mortality and inhibit reproduction. Records of benthic foraminiferal density coupled with short-lived radionuclide geochronology and organic geochemistry were effective in quantifying the benthic response and will continue to be a valuable tool in determining

  11. Regime shift in sandy beach microbial communities following Deepwater Horizon oil spill remediation efforts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Engel, Annette Summers; Gupta, Axita A

    2014-01-01

    Sandy beaches support a wide variety of underappreciated biodiversity that is critical to coastal ecosystems. Prior to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the diversity and function of supratidal beach sediment microbial communities along Gulf of Mexico coastlines were not well understood. As such, it was unclear if microbial community compositional changes would occur following exposure to beached oil, if indigenous communities could biodegrade oil, or how cleanup efforts, such as sand washing and sediment redistribution, would impact microbial ecosystem resiliency. Transects perpendicular to the shoreline were sampled from public beaches on Grand Isle, Louisiana, and Dauphin Island, Alabama, over one year. Prior to oil coming onshore, elevated levels of bacteria associated with fecal contamination were detected (e.g., Enterobacteriales and Campylobacterales). Over time, significant shifts within major phyla were identified (e.g., Proteobacteria, Firmicutes, Actinobacteria) and fecal indicator groups were replaced by taxa affiliated with open-ocean and marine systems (e.g., Oceanospirillales, Rhodospirillales, and Rhodobacterales). These new bacterial groups included putative hydrocarbon degraders, similar to those identified near the oil plume offshore. Shifts in the microbial community composition strongly correlated to more poorly sorted sediment and grain size distributional changes. Natural oceanographic processes could not account for the disrupted sediment, especially from the backshore well above the maximum high-tide levels recorded at these sites. Sand washing and tilling occurred on both open beaches from August through at least December 2010, which were mechanisms that could replace fecal indicator groups with open-ocean groups. Consequently, remediation efforts meant to return beaches to pre-spill compositions caused a regime shift that may have added potential ecosystem function, like hydrocarbon degradation, to the sediment. Future research will

  12. Recalcitrance and degradation of petroleum biomarkers upon abiotic and biotic natural weathering of Deepwater Horizon oil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aeppli, Christoph; Nelson, Robert K; Radović, Jagoš R; Carmichael, Catherine A; Valentine, David L; Reddy, Christopher M

    2014-06-17

    Petroleum biomarkers such as hopanoids, steranes, and triaromatic steroids (TAS) are commonly used to investigate the source and fate of petroleum hydrocarbons in the environment based on the premise that these compounds are resistant to biotic and abiotic degradation. To test the validity of this premise in the context of the Deepwater Horizon disaster, we investigated changes to these biomarkers as induced by natural weathering of crude oil discharged from the Macondo Well (MW). For surface slicks collected from May to June in 2010, and other oiled samples collected on beaches in the northern Gulf of Mexico from July 2010 until August 2012, hopanoids with up to 31 carbons as well as steranes and diasteranes were not systematically affected by weathering processes. In contrast, TAS and C32- to C35-homohopanes were depleted in all samples relative to 17α(H),21β(H)-hopane (C30-hopane). Compared to MW oil, C35-homohopanes and TAS were depleted by 18 ± 10% and 36 ± 20%, respectively, in surface slicks collected from May to June 2010, and by 37 ± 9% and 67 ± 10%, respectively, in samples collected along beaches from April 2011 through August 2012. Based on patterns of relative losses of individual compounds, we hypothesize biodegradation and photooxidation as main degradation processes for homohopanes and TAS, respectively. This study highlights that (i) TAS and homohopanes can be degraded within several years following an oil spill, (ii) the use of homohopanes and TAS for oil spill forensics must account for degradation, and (iii) these compounds provide a window to parse biodegradation and photooxidation during advanced stages of oil weathering.

  13. Simulating oil droplet dispersal from the Deepwater Horizon spill with a Lagrangian approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    North, Elizabeth W.; Schlag, Zachary; Adams, E. Eric; Sherwood, Christopher R.; He, Ruoying; Hyun, Hoon; Socolofsky, Scott A.

    2011-01-01

    An analytical multiphase plume model, combined with time-varying flow and hydrographic fields generated by the 3-D South Atlantic Bight and Gulf of Mexico model (SABGOM) hydrodynamic model, were used as input to a Lagrangian transport model (LTRANS), to simulate transport of oil droplets dispersed at depth from the recent Deepwater Horizon MC 252 oil spill. The plume model predicts a stratification-dominated near field, in which small oil droplets detrain from the central plume containing faster rising large oil droplets and gas bubbles and become trapped by density stratification. Simulated intrusion (trap) heights of ∼ 310–370 m agree well with the midrange of conductivity-temperature-depth observations, though the simulated variation in trap height was lower than observed, presumably in part due to unresolved variability in source composition (percentage oil versus gas) and location (multiple leaks during first half of spill). Simulated droplet trajectories by the SABGOM-LTRANS modeling system showed that droplets with diameters between 10 and 50 μm formed a distinct subsurface plume, which was transported horizontally and remained in the subsurface for >1 month. In contrast, droplets with diameters ≥90 μm rose rapidly to the surface. Simulated trajectories of droplets ≤50 μm in diameter were found to be consistent with field observations of a southwest-tending subsurface plume in late June 2010 reported by Camilli et al. [2010]. Model results suggest that the subsurface plume looped around to the east, with potential subsurface oil transport to the northeast and southeast. Ongoing work is focusing on adding degradation processes to the model to constrain droplet dispersal.

  14. Impacts of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on deep-sea coral-associated sediment communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Demopoulos, Amanda; Bourque, Jill R.; Cordes, Erik E.; Stamler, Katherine

    2016-01-01

    Cold-water corals support distinct populations of infauna within surrounding sediments that provide vital ecosystem functions and services in the deep sea. Yet due to their sedentary existence, infauna are vulnerable to perturbation and contaminant exposure because they are unable to escape disturbance events. While multiple deep-sea coral habitats were injured by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill, the extent of adverse effects on coral-associated sediment communities is unknown. In 2011, sediments were collected adjacent to several coral habitats located 6 to 183 km from the wellhead in order to quantify the extent of impact of the DWH spill on infaunal communities. Higher variance in macrofaunal abundance and diversity, and different community structure (higher multivariate dispersion) were associated with elevated hydrocarbon concentrations and contaminants at sites closest to the wellhead (MC294, MC297, and MC344), consistent with impacts from the spill. In contrast, variance in meiofaunal diversity was not significantly related to distance from the wellhead and no other community metric (e.g. density or multivariate dispersion) was correlated with contaminants or hydrocarbon concentrations. Concentrations of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) provided the best statistical explanation for observed macrofaunal community structure, while depth and presence of fine-grained mud best explained meiofaunal community patterns. Impacts associated with contaminants from the DWH spill resulted in a patchwork pattern of infaunal community composition, diversity, and abundance, highlighting the role of variability as an indicator of disturbance. These data represent a useful baseline for tracking post-spill recovery of these deep-sea communities.

  15. Influence of Mississippi River induced circulation on the Deepwater Horizon oil spill transport

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kourafalou, Vassiliki H.; Androulidakis, Yannis S.

    2013-08-01

    The 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion caused ˜7 × 105 m3 of oil gushing from the Northern Gulf of Mexico bottom. The close proximity of the rig to the Mississippi Delta raised early questions from disaster managers about possible influence of river induced circulation on oil patch evolution. In particular, it was hypothesized that the high Mississippi River (MR) discharge in May 2010 might have helped to initially keep oil from reaching coastal marshes. We have explored this intriguing hypothesis, quantifying similar and connecting patterns in the evolution of riverine and oil covered waters. We used numerical simulations, satellite and in situ data to show the unique influence of a large river plume on a surface oil patch resulting from a deep oil release. The MR induced circulation, modified by shelf and slope flows, was found to substantially influence the near surface transport of oil. The MR plume buoyancy-driven effects on oil transport had different aspects east and west of the Mississippi Delta. Anticyclonic circulation within the upstream plume region (east of the Delta, extending over the Mississippi-Alabama-Florida shelf) created a front that restrained onshore transport. Conversely, the shoreward tendency within the downstream plume region (west of the Delta, dominated by the westward, buoyancy-driven narrow coastal current) guided oil transport along the Louisiana-Texas shelf. Periods of low discharge reduced the dominance of buoyancy-driven effects, but an interval of sustained downwelling-favorable winds, combined with river induced stratification, resulted in a strong westward current and surface oil patch extension along the Louisiana coast.

  16. Abundance and size of Gulf shrimp in Louisiana's coastal estuaries following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joris L van der Ham

    Full Text Available The Deepwater Horizon oil spill impacted Louisiana's coastal estuaries physically, chemically, and biologically. To better understand the ecological consequences of this oil spill on Louisiana estuaries, we compared the abundance and size of two Gulf shrimp species (Farfantepeneus aztecus and Litopeneus setiferus in heavily affected and relatively unaffected estuaries, before and after the oil spill. Two datasets were used to conduct this study: data on shrimp abundance and size before the spill were available from Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF. Data on shrimp abundance and size from after the spill were independently collected by the authors and by LDWF. Using a Before-After-Control-Impact with Paired sampling (BACIP design with monthly samples of two selected basins, we found brown shrimp to become more abundant and the mean size of white shrimp to become smaller. Using a BACIP with data on successive shrimp year-classes of multiple basins, we found both species to become more abundant in basins that were affected by the spill, while mean shrimp size either not change after the spill, or increased in both affected and unaffected basins. We conclude that following the oil spill abundances of both species increased within affected estuaries, whereas mean size may have been unaffected. We propose two factors that may have caused these results: 1 exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs may have reduced the growth rate of shrimp, resulting in a delayed movement of shrimp to offshore habitats, and an increase of within-estuary shrimp abundance, and 2 fishing closures established immediately after the spill, may have resulted in decreased fishing effort and an increase in shrimp abundance. This study accentuates the complexities in determining ecological effects of oil spills, and the need of studies on the organismal level to reveal cause-and-effect relationships of such events.

  17. Metagenomics reveals sediment microbial community response to Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mason, Olivia U; Scott, Nicole M; Gonzalez, Antonio; Robbins-Pianka, Adam; Bælum, Jacob; Kimbrel, Jeffrey; Bouskill, Nicholas J; Prestat, Emmanuel; Borglin, Sharon; Joyner, Dominique C; Fortney, Julian L; Jurelevicius, Diogo; Stringfellow, William T; Alvarez-Cohen, Lisa; Hazen, Terry C; Knight, Rob; Gilbert, Jack A; Jansson, Janet K

    2014-07-01

    The Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill in the spring of 2010 resulted in an input of ∼4.1 million barrels of oil to the Gulf of Mexico; >22% of this oil is unaccounted for, with unknown environmental consequences. Here we investigated the impact of oil deposition on microbial communities in surface sediments collected at 64 sites by targeted sequencing of 16S rRNA genes, shotgun metagenomic sequencing of 14 of these samples and mineralization experiments using (14)C-labeled model substrates. The 16S rRNA gene data indicated that the most heavily oil-impacted sediments were enriched in an uncultured Gammaproteobacterium and a Colwellia species, both of which were highly similar to sequences in the DWH deep-sea hydrocarbon plume. The primary drivers in structuring the microbial community were nitrogen and hydrocarbons. Annotation of unassembled metagenomic data revealed the most abundant hydrocarbon degradation pathway encoded genes involved in degrading aliphatic and simple aromatics via butane monooxygenase. The activity of key hydrocarbon degradation pathways by sediment microbes was confirmed by determining the mineralization of (14)C-labeled model substrates in the following order: propylene glycol, dodecane, toluene and phenanthrene. Further, analysis of metagenomic sequence data revealed an increase in abundance of genes involved in denitrification pathways in samples that exceeded the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)'s benchmarks for polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) compared with those that did not. Importantly, these data demonstrate that the indigenous sediment microbiota contributed an important ecosystem service for remediation of oil in the Gulf. However, PAHs were more recalcitrant to degradation, and their persistence could have deleterious impacts on the sediment ecosystem.

  18. A Decline in Benthic Foraminifera following the Deepwater Horizon Event in the Northeastern Gulf of Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwing, Patrick T.; Romero, Isabel C.; Brooks, Gregg R.; Hastings, David W.; Larson, Rebekka A.; Hollander, David J.

    2015-01-01

    Sediment cores were collected from three sites (1000–1200 m water depth) in the northeastern Gulf of Mexico from December 2010 to June 2011 to assess changes in benthic foraminiferal density related to the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) event (April-July 2010, 1500 m water depth). Short-lived radioisotope geochronologies (210Pb, 234Th), organic geochemical assessments, and redox metal concentrations were determined to relate changes in sediment accumulation rate, contamination, and redox conditions with benthic foraminiferal density. Cores collected in December 2010 indicated a decline in density (80–93%). This decline was characterized by a decrease in benthic foraminiferal density and benthic foraminiferal accumulation rate (BFAR) in the surface 10 mm relative to the down-core mean in all benthic foraminifera, including the dominant genera (Bulimina spp., Uvigerina spp., and Cibicidoides spp.). Cores collected in February 2011 documented a site-specific response. There was evidence of a recovery in the benthic foraminiferal density and BFAR at the site closest to the wellhead (45 NM, NE). However, the site farther afield (60 NM, NE) recorded a continued decline in benthic foraminiferal density and BFAR down to near-zero values. This decline in benthic foraminiferal density occurred simultaneously with abrupt increases in sedimentary accumulation rates, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) concentrations, and changes in redox conditions. Persistent reducing conditions (as many as 10 months after the event) in the surface of these core records were a possible cause of the decline. Another possible cause was the increase (2–3 times background) in PAH’s, which are known to cause benthic foraminifera mortality and inhibit reproduction. Records of benthic foraminiferal density coupled with short-lived radionuclide geochronology and organic geochemistry were effective in quantifying the benthic response and will continue to be a valuable tool in determining the long

  19. Impact of Deepwater Horizon Spill on food supply to deep-sea benthos communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prouty, Nancy G.; Swarzenski, Pamela; Mienis, Furu; Duineveld, Gerald; Demopoulos, Amanda; Ross, Steve W.; Brooke, Sandra

    2016-01-01

    Deep-sea ecosystems encompass unique and often fragile communities that are sensitive to a variety of anthropogenic and natural impacts. After the 2010 Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill, sampling efforts documented the acute impact of the spill on some deep-sea coral colonies. To investigate the impact of the DWH spill on quality and quantity of biomass delivered to the deep-sea, a suite of geochemical tracers (e.g., stable and radio-isotopes, lipid biomarkers, and compound specific isotopes) was measured from monthly sediment trap samples deployed near a high-density deep-coral site in the Viosca Knoll area of the north-central Gulf of Mexico prior to (Oct-2008 to Sept-2009) and after the spill (Oct-10 to Sept-11). Marine (e.g., autochthonous) sources of organic matter dominated the sediment traps in both years, however after the spill, there was a pronounced reduction in marinesourced OM, including a reduction in marine-sourced sterols and n-alkanes and a concomitant decrease in sediment trap organic carbon and pigment flux. Results from this study indicate a reduction in primary production and carbon export to the deep-sea in 2010-2011, at least 6-18 months after the spill started. Whereas satellite observations indicate an initial increase in phytoplankton biomass, results from this sediment trap study define a reduction in primary production and carbon export to the deep-sea community. In addition, a dilution from a low-14C carbon source (e.g., petrocarbon) was detected in the sediment trap samples after the spill, in conjunction with a change in the petrogenic composition. The data presented here fills a critical gap in our knowledge of biogeochemical processes and sub-acute impacts to the deep-sea that ensued after the 2010 DWH spill.

  20. Mental health service use by cleanup workers in the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lowe, Sarah R; Kwok, Richard K; Payne, Julianne; Engel, Lawrence S; Galea, Sandro; Sandler, Dale P

    2015-04-01

    High rates of mental health (MH) problems have been documented among disaster relief workers. However, few workers utilize MH services, and predictors of service use among this group remain unexplored. The purpose of this study was to explore associations between predisposing, illness-related, and enabling factors from Andersen's behavioral model of treatment-seeking and patterns of service use among participants who completed at least one full day of cleanup work after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and participated in home visits for the NIEHS GuLF STUDY (N = 8931). Workers reported on MH symptoms and whether they had used counseling or medication for MH problems since the oil spill. Hierarchical logistic regression models explored associations between predictors and counseling and medication use in the full sample, and type of use (counseling only, medication only, both) among participants who used either service. Analyses were replicated for subsamples of participants with and without symptom inventory scores suggestive of probable post-disaster mental illness. Having a pre-spill MH diagnosis, pre-spill service use, more severe post-spill MH symptoms, and healthcare coverage were positively associated with counseling and medication use in the full sample. Among participants who used either service, non-Hispanic Black race, pre-spill counseling, lower depression, and not identifying a personal doctor or healthcare provider were predictive of counseling only, whereas older age, female gender and pre-spill medication were predictive of medication only. The results were generally consistent among participants with and without probable post-disaster mental illness. The results suggest variability in which factors within Andersen's behavioral model are predictive of different patterns of service use among disaster relief workers.

  1. Automatic Calculation of Oil Slick Area from Multiple SAR Acquisitions for Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

    Science.gov (United States)

    Osmanoğlu, B.; Özkan, C.; Sunar, F.; Staples, G.

    2012-07-01

    The Deepwater Horizon oil spill occurred in the Gulf of Mexico in April 2010 and became the largest accidental marine oil spill in history. Oil leaked continuously between April 20th and July 15th of 2010, releasing about 780, 000m3 of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico. The oil spill caused extensive economical and ecological damage to the areas it reached, affecting the marine and wildlife habitats along with fishing and tourism industries. For oil spill mitigation efforts, it is important to determine the areal extent, and most recent position of the contaminated area. Satellitebased oil pollution monitoring systems are being used for monitoring and in hazard response efforts. Due to their high accuracy, frequent acquisitions, large area coverage and day-and-night operation Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) satellites are a major contributer of monitoring marine environments for oil spill detection. We developed a new algorithm for determining the extent of the oil spill from multiple SAR images, that are acquired with short temporal intervals using different sensors. Combining the multi-polarization data from Radarsat-2 (C-band), Envisat ASAR (C-band) and Alos-PALSAR (L-band) sensors, we calculate the extent of the oil spill with higher accuracy than what is possible from only one image. Short temporal interval between acquisitions (hours to days) allow us to eliminate artifacts and increase accuracy. Our algorithm works automatically without any human intervention to deliver products in a timely manner in time critical operations. Acquisitions using different SAR sensors are radiometrically calibrated and processed individually to obtain oil spill area extent. Furthermore the algorithm provides probability maps of the areas that are classified as oil slick. This probability information is then combined with other acquisitions to estimate the combined probability map for the spill.

  2. Role of Bacterial Exopolysaccharides (EPS) in the Fate of the Oil Released during the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gutierrez, Tony; Berry, David; Yang, Tingting; Mishamandani, Sara; McKay, Luke; Teske, Andreas; Aitken, Michael D

    2013-01-01

    Halomonas species are recognized for producing exopolysaccharides (EPS) exhibiting amphiphilic properties that allow these macromolecules to interface with hydrophobic substrates, such as hydrocarbons. There remains a paucity of knowledge, however, on the potential of Halomonas EPS to influence the biodegradation of hydrocarbons. In this study, the well-characterized amphiphilic EPS produced by Halomonas species strain TG39 was shown to effectively increase the solubilization of aromatic hydrocarbons and enhance their biodegradation by an indigenous microbial community from oil-contaminated surface waters collected during the active phase of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Three Halomonas strains were isolated from the Deepwater Horizon site, all of which produced EPS with excellent emulsifying qualities and shared high (97-100%) 16S rRNA sequence identity with strain TG39 and other EPS-producing Halomonas strains. Analysis of pyrosequence data from surface water samples collected during the spill revealed several distinct Halomonas phylotypes, of which some shared a high sequence identity (≥97%) to strain TG39 and the Gulf spill isolates. Other bacterial groups comprising members with well-characterized EPS-producing qualities, such as Alteromonas, Colwellia and Pseudoalteromonas, were also found enriched in surface waters, suggesting that the total pool of EPS in the Gulf during the spill may have been supplemented by these organisms. Roller bottle incubations with one of the Halomonas isolates from the Deepwater Horizon spill site demonstrated its ability to effectively produce oil aggregates and emulsify the oil. The enrichment of EPS-producing bacteria during the spill coupled with their capacity to produce amphiphilic EPS is likely to have contributed to the ultimate removal of the oil and to the formation of oil aggregates, which were a dominant feature observed in contaminated surface waters.

  3. Role of Bacterial Exopolysaccharides (EPS in the Fate of the Oil Released during the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tony Gutierrez

    Full Text Available Halomonas species are recognized for producing exopolysaccharides (EPS exhibiting amphiphilic properties that allow these macromolecules to interface with hydrophobic substrates, such as hydrocarbons. There remains a paucity of knowledge, however, on the potential of Halomonas EPS to influence the biodegradation of hydrocarbons. In this study, the well-characterized amphiphilic EPS produced by Halomonas species strain TG39 was shown to effectively increase the solubilization of aromatic hydrocarbons and enhance their biodegradation by an indigenous microbial community from oil-contaminated surface waters collected during the active phase of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Three Halomonas strains were isolated from the Deepwater Horizon site, all of which produced EPS with excellent emulsifying qualities and shared high (97-100% 16S rRNA sequence identity with strain TG39 and other EPS-producing Halomonas strains. Analysis of pyrosequence data from surface water samples collected during the spill revealed several distinct Halomonas phylotypes, of which some shared a high sequence identity (≥97% to strain TG39 and the Gulf spill isolates. Other bacterial groups comprising members with well-characterized EPS-producing qualities, such as Alteromonas, Colwellia and Pseudoalteromonas, were also found enriched in surface waters, suggesting that the total pool of EPS in the Gulf during the spill may have been supplemented by these organisms. Roller bottle incubations with one of the Halomonas isolates from the Deepwater Horizon spill site demonstrated its ability to effectively produce oil aggregates and emulsify the oil. The enrichment of EPS-producing bacteria during the spill coupled with their capacity to produce amphiphilic EPS is likely to have contributed to the ultimate removal of the oil and to the formation of oil aggregates, which were a dominant feature observed in contaminated surface waters.

  4. Hydrocarbons in Deep-Sea Sediments following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon Blowout in the Northeast Gulf of Mexico

    OpenAIRE

    Romero, Isabel C.; Patrick T Schwing; Gregg R Brooks; Larson, Rebekka A.; Hastings, David W.; Greg Ellis; Goddard, Ethan A.; David J Hollander

    2015-01-01

    The Deepwater Horizon (DWH) spill released 4.9 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico (GoM) over 87 days. Sediment and water sampling efforts were concentrated SW of the DWH and in coastal areas. Here we present geochemistry data from sediment cores collected in the aftermath of the DWH event from 1000 – 1500 m water depth in the DeSoto Canyon, NE of the DWH wellhead. Cores were analyzed at high-resolution (at 2 mm and 5 mm intervals) in order to evaluate the concentration, compositio...

  5. Impacts to Ecological Services: Buried Oil from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon Spill and Its Effect on Salt Marsh Denitrification

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levine, B. M.; White, J. R.; Delaune, R.

    2016-02-01

    In coastal Louisiana (LA), demands for ecosystem services are increasing while human activities continue to deteriorate coastal systems. On April 20, 2010, the largest offshore oil spill in United States history occurred in the Gulf of Mexico, known as the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill. Approximately 795 million L of crude oil were released, consequently oiling 1,773 km of Gulf Coast shoreline. Four years later, oil from the spill was found buried in the soil and seeping at the salt marsh surface in Bay Jimmy, LA. Previous studies found that immediately following oil exposure, wetland soils have suppressed microbial activity. This study seeks to understand effects of the long-term presence of oil on soil microbes and associated impacts to wetland soil denitrification. Bulk soil and intact soil cores were collected four years after the DWH spill from a heavily impacted salt marsh and a proximal site deemed unoiled in Barataria Bay, LA. Oil present in the soil subsurface increased dry weight bulk density, and decreased moisture content. Potential denitrification (acetylene block) in the top 10 cm of soil was 38% lower for oiled samples versus unoiled controls. Areal nitrate reduction rates were significantly lower in oiled samples in an intact core flux experiment under environmentally relevant nitrate conditions (2mg/L NO3-N), P-value denitrification rates in extruded sections of soil from the intact core study at 0-5 cm and 5-10 cm depths. These results demonstrate that after four years, buried oil is still toxic to denitrifying bacteria and may have significantly negative impacts on the ecosystem service of water quality improvement. Future studies should investigate impacts of oil being rebroadcasted onto marshes as land erodes in the study area.

  6. Bacterial communities of surface and deep hydrocarbon-contaminated waters of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, T.; Nigro, L. M.; McKay, L.; Ziervogel, K.; Gutierrez, T.; Teske, A.

    2010-12-01

    We performed a 16S rRNA gene sequencing survey of bacterial communities within oil-contaminated surface water, deep hydrocarbon plume water, and deep water samples above and below the plume to determine spatial and temporal patterns of oil-degrading bacteria growing in response to the Deepwater Horizon oil leak. In addition, we are reporting 16S rRNA sequencing results from time series incubation, enrichment and cultivation experiments. Surface oil slick samples were collected 3 nautical miles from ground zero, (5/6/10, RV Pelican) and were added to uncontaminated surface water (collected within a 30 nautical mile radius of ground zero, 5/6/10 - 5/9/10, RV Pelican). This mixture was incubated for 20 days in a rolling bottle at 25°C. 16S rRNA clone libraries from marine snow-like microbial flocs that had formed during the incubation yielded a highly diverse bacterial community, predominately composed of the Alpha- and Gammaproteobacteria, and a smaller number of Planktomycetes and other bacterial lineages. The most frequently recovered proteobacterial sequences were closely related to cultured species of the genus Cycloclasticus, specialists in aerobic oxidation of aromatic hydrocarbons. These time series incubation results will be compared to the microbial community structure of contaminated surface water, sampled on the same cruise with RV Pelican (5/6/10-5/9/10) and frozen immediately. Stable isotope probing (SIP) experiments with C13-labelled alkanes and polycyclic aromatic substrates and gulf water samples have yielded different enrichments. With naphthalene, predominantly Alteromonas-related clones and a smaller share of Cycloclasticus clones were recovered; phenanthrene yielded predominantly clones related to Cycloclasticus, and diverse other Gamma- and Alphaproteobacteria. Analyses of SIP experiments with hexadecane are in progress. The microbial community composition of the deep hydrocarbon plume was characterized using water column profile samples taken

  7. Sunlight creates oxygenated species in water-soluble fractions of Deepwater horizon oil

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ray, Phoebe Z. [Department of Chemistry, University of New Orleans, New Orleans, LA 70148 (United States); Chen, Huan [National High Magnetic Field Laboratory, Florida State University, 1800 East Paul Dirac Drive, Tallahassee, FL 32310-4005 (United States); Podgorski, David C. [National High Magnetic Field Laboratory, Florida State University, 1800 East Paul Dirac Drive, Tallahassee, FL 32310-4005 (United States); Future Fuels Institute, Florida State University, 1800 East Paul Dirac Drive, Tallahassee, FL 32310-4005 (United States); McKenna, Amy M. [National High Magnetic Field Laboratory, Florida State University, 1800 East Paul Dirac Drive, Tallahassee, FL 32310-4005 (United States); Tarr, Matthew A., E-mail: mtarr@uno.edu [Department of Chemistry, University of New Orleans, New Orleans, LA 70148 (United States)

    2014-09-15

    Graphical abstract: Sunlight oxygenates petroleum. - Highlights: • Oxidation seen in water-soluble oil fraction after exposure to simulated sunlight. • Oxygen addition occurred across a wide range of carbon number and DBE. • Oil compounds were susceptible to addition of multiple oxygens to each molecule. • Results provide understanding of fate of oil on water after exposure to sunlight. - Abstract: In order to assess the impact of sunlight on oil fate, Macondo well oil from the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) rig was mixed with pure water and irradiated with simulated sunlight. After irradiation, the water-soluble organics (WSO) from the dark and irradiated samples were extracted and characterized by ultrahigh resolution Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry (FT-ICR MS). Liquid–liquid extraction yielded two fractions from dark and irradiated water/oil mixtures: acidic WSOs (negative-ion electrospray (ESI)), and base/neutral WSOs (positive-ion ESI) coupled to FT-ICR MS to catalog molecular-level transformations that occur to Macondo-derived WSOs after solar irradiation. Such direct measure of oil phototransformation has not been previously reported. The most abundant heteroatom class detected in the irradiated WSO acid fractions correspond to molecules that contain five oxygens (O{sub 5}), while the most abundant acids in the dark samples contain two oxygen atoms per molecule (O{sub 2}). Higher-order oxygen classes (O{sub 5}–O{sub 9}) were abundant in the irradiated samples, but <1.5% relative abundance in the dark sample. The increased abundance of higher-order oxygen classes in the irradiated samples relative to the dark samples indicates that photooxidized components of the Macondo crude oil become water-soluble after irradiation. The base/neutral fraction showed decreased abundance of pyridinic nitrogen (N{sub 1}) concurrent with an increased abundance of N{sub 1}O{sub x} classes after irradiation. The predominance of higher

  8. Tissue analysis of the oyster Crassostrea virginica after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roopnarine, D.; Roopnarine, P. D.; Anderson, L.; Chung, T.

    2013-12-01

    The Deepwater Horizon accident (DWH) of April 20th, 2010, in the Gulf of Mexico (GoM) released crude oil into the ocean column for 4 months. An estimated 685,000 tons of crude oil was released, making DWH spill the largest accidental spill in maritime history. The immediate impacts of the spill were evident, including oil slicks, fouled beaches and fouled, often dead wildlife. Longer-term impacts are less understood, and reliance on studies of past spills, e.g. Exxon Valdez, may not be applicable given the substantially greater magnitude of DWH (Valdez spilled 37,000 tons) and different environmental settings (predominantly rocky shorelines vs. saltmarsh-dominated coastlines). Many molluscan species exhibit responses to oil spills or other hydrocarbon contamination. Bivalved molluscs are commonly used as bioindicator organisms in part because they concentrate both metals and organic contaminants in their soft tissues. We used the American oyster Crassostrea virginica to measure exposure to and impact of the spill as the abnormal transformation of soft-tissues, or metaplasia. Metaplasia is the reversible transformation of one cell type into another. Molluscan metaplasia has been associated with exposure to petroleum contamination. While oyster epithelium is normally stratified columnar and ciliated, experimental exposures often result in metaplasia of gill, digestive and renal tissues. The occurrence and frequency of metaplasia may also be an indication of the longevity of a spill's impact. For example, individuals of the mussel Mytilus trossulus in Prince William Sound continued to exhibit metaplasia of the digestive gland more than 5 years after the Exxon Valdez spill, with an occurrence directly related to concentrations of PAHs in the animals. We focused on the hypothesis that DWH spill exposure resulted in metaplasia of gill and digestive epithelial tissues, both during and after the spill. Those transformations are eventually reversible, although on an unknown

  9. RNA-Seq reveals complex genetic response to deepwater horizon oil release in Fundulus grandis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Garcia Tzintzuni I

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The release of oil resulting from the blowout of the Deepwater Horizon (DH drilling platform was one of the largest in history discharging more than 189 million gallons of oil and subject to widespread application of oil dispersants. This event impacted a wide range of ecological habitats with a complex mix of pollutants whose biological impact is still not yet fully understood. To better understand the effects on a vertebrate genome, we studied gene expression in the salt marsh minnow Fundulus grandis, which is local to the northern coast of the Gulf of Mexico and is a sister species of the ecotoxicological model Fundulus heteroclitus. To assess genomic changes, we quantified mRNA expression using high throughput sequencing technologies (RNA-Seq in F. grandis populations in the marshes and estuaries impacted by DH oil release. This application of RNA-Seq to a non-model, wild, and ecologically significant organism is an important evaluation of the technology to quickly assess similar events in the future. Results Our de novo assembly of RNA-Seq data produced a large set of sequences which included many duplicates and fragments. In many cases several of these could be associated with a common reference sequence using blast to query a reference database. This reduced the set of significant genes to 1,070 down-regulated and 1,251 up-regulated genes. These genes indicate a broad and complex genomic response to DH oil exposure including the expected AHR-mediated response and CYP genes. In addition a response to hypoxic conditions and an immune response are also indicated. Several genes in the choriogenin family were down-regulated in the exposed group; a response that is consistent with AH exposure. These analyses are in agreement with oligonucleotide-based microarray analyses, and describe only a subset of significant genes with aberrant regulation in the exposed set. Conclusion RNA-Seq may be successfully applied to feral and

  10. Growth rates and ages of deep-sea corals impacted by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prouty, Nancy G.; Fisher, Charles R.; Demopoulos, Amanda W. J.; Druffel, Ellen R. M.

    2016-01-01

    The impact of the April 2010 Deepwater Horizon (DWH) spill on deep-sea coral communities in the Gulf of Mexico (GoM) is still under investigation, as is the potential for these communities to recover. Impacts from the spill include observation of corals covered with flocculent material, with bare skeleton, excessive mucous production, sloughing tissue, and subsequent colonization of damaged areas by hydrozoans. Information on growth rates and life spans of deep-sea corals is important for understanding the vulnerability of these ecosystems to both natural and anthropogenic perturbations, as well as the likely duration of any observed adverse impacts. We report radiocarbon ages and radial and linear growth rates based on octocorals (Paramuricea spp. and Chrysogorgia sp.) collected in 2010 and 2011 from areas of the DWH impact. The oldest coral radiocarbon ages were measured on specimens collected 11 km to the SW of the oil spill from the Mississippi Canyon (MC) 344 site: 599 and 55 cal yr BP, suggesting continuous life spans of over 600 years for Paramuricea biscaya, the dominant coral species in the region. Calculated radial growth rates, between 0.34 μm yr−1 and 14.20 μm yr−1, are consistent with previously reported proteinaceous corals from the GoM. Anomalously low radiocarbon (Δ14C) values for soft tissue from some corals indicate that these corals were feeding on particulate organic carbon derived from an admixture of modern surface carbon and a low 14C carbon source. Results from this work indicate fossil carbon could contribute 5–10% to the coral soft tissue Δ14C signal within the area of the spill impact. The influence of a low 14C carbon source (e.g., petro-carbon) on the particulate organic carbon pool was observed at all sites within 30 km of the spill site, with the exception of MC118, which may have been outside of the dominant northeast-southwest zone of impact. The quantitatively assessed extreme longevity and slow growth rates documented

  11. Long Term Geoelectrical Monitoring of Deep-water Horizon Oil Spill in the Gulf Coast

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heenan, J. W.; Ntarlagiannis, D.; Slater, L. D.; Atekwana, E. A.; Ross, C.; Nolan, J. T.; Atekwana, E. A.

    2011-12-01

    In the aftermath of the catastrophic Deep-water Horizon (DWH) spill in the Gulf Coast, opportunities exist to study the evolution of fresh crude oil contamination in beach sediments and marshes. Grand Terre 1 Island, off the coast of Grand Isle in southern Louisiana, is an uninhabited barrier island, heavily impacted by the DWH spill, and ideal for undisturbed long term monitoring of crude oil degradation processes. A 10 channel Syscal-Pro resistivity / IP instrument (IRIS Instruments, France) is the heart of the fully autonomous geoelectrical monitoring system; the system, which is housed in a weatherproof container, relies solely on solar power, is controlled by an energy efficient PC and can be accessed remotely via web tools. The monitoring scheme involves collecting bi-daily resistivity measurements from surface and shallow boreholes, ranging from January 2011 to the present; environmental parameters, such as T, are continuously recorded at several depths. During regular field trips we perform larger scale geophysical surveys, and geochemical measurements (pH, DO, T, fluid C) to support the continuous geophysical monitoring. The contaminated layer on site is a visually distinctive layer of crude oil, isolated by cleaner sands above and below which is identified by a clear and obvious resistive anomaly in preliminary surveys. Early results show a decrease in average of the resistance values of each dataset over time. Further processing of the data yields a linearly shaped resistive anomaly, which coincides with the location of the oil layer. The changes in subsurface resistivity appear to be focused within this anomaly. Time filtering of the data by the time that they were collected, morning or evening, reveals a diurnal variation. While both time frames follow the same overall trend, the measurements in the morning are slightly more resistive than those in the evening. This indicates that there are environmental factors, such as temperature, that need to be

  12. Oceanographic conditions in the Gulf of Mexico in July 2010, during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, R. H.; Johns, E. M.; Goni, G. J.; Trinanes, J.; Lumpkin, R.; Wood, A. M.; Kelble, C. R.; Cummings, S. R.; Lamkin, J. T.; Privoznik, S.

    2014-04-01

    Circulation in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) is dominated by mesoscale features that include the Loop Current (LC), Loop Current Rings (LCRs), and smaller frontal eddies. During May-June 2010, while oil was still flowing from the Macondo well following the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) platform explosion on April 20, 2010, drifter trajectories, satellite observations, and numerical simulations indicated a potential for direct connectivity between the northern Gulf and the Florida Straits via the LC system. This pathway could have potentially entrained particles, including northern GOM contaminants related to the oil spill, carrying them directly towards the coastal ecosystems of south Florida and northern Cuba. To assess this connectivity, and to evaluate the potential oil impacts on economically important GOM fisheries, an interdisciplinary shipboard survey was conducted in the eastern Gulf during July 2010. Analysis of the resulting hydrographic data confirmed that: (1) by July 2010 a large LCR had become separated from the main LC by a cyclonic eddy resulting in the loss of a direct transport mechanism from the northern GOM to the Florida Straits, leaving only indirect pathways available to potential contaminants; and (2) with the exception of four hydrographic stations occupied within 84 km of the wellhead, no evidence of oil was found during the survey on the surface or within the water column. These results corroborated analysis of satellite altimetry observations of the GOM surface circulation and verified official surface oil coverage forecasts where they intersected with the survey track. This cruise sampled the LC, LCR, and frontal eddies to a depth of 2000 m, with the results suggesting that any oil entrained by circulation features in prior months had either been weathered, consumed by bacteria, dispersed to undetectable levels, or was only present in unsurveyed areas. The assembled subsurface measurements represent one of only a few data sets collected across the

  13. Salt Marsh Sediment Mixing Following Petroleum Hydrocarbon Exposure from the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hatch, R. S.; Yeager, K. M.; Brunner, C. A.; Wade, T. L.; Briggs, K. B.; Schindler, K. J.

    2013-12-01

    Tidal marshes support valuable ecosystems, but their coastal locations make them susceptible to oil spills. Oil spilled in the ocean is easily transported via tidal and wind-driven currents to the shore and incorporated into sediments. The primary goal of this research was to determine how deeply oil from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill has penetrated sediments along the Gulf Coast, and whether oil has quantifiably affected benthic ecosystems at these sites. Sediment cores were taken from three marsh environments at sites classified as unoiled, lightly oiled, and heavily oiled based on data from NOAA's Environmental Response Management Application (ERMA). These classifications have been verified by measurements of total polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons ([TPAH] without perylene). Bioturbators, such as polychaetes and oligochaetes, constantly rework sediments as they burrow into them. In this way, bioturbators can play a role in the fate of organic contaminants, either by allowing for natural remediation of contaminants via enhanced microbial degradation, or by mixing oil from the surface deeper into the sediment column. The constant fallout radionuclide 7Be was measured to determine short-term sediment mixing depths. However, there was a conspicuous absence of 7Be at most sites. This could be due to sediment composition constraints on 7Be sorption (coarse-grained sediment, high organic matter contents), or rapid erosion of the marsh surface. Instead, minimum mixing depths were derived from 234Thxs profiles. Thorium-234 is a lithogenic isotope that has widely been used to trace particle mixing on short time scales near that of its mean life (36 days). Penetration depths of 234Thxs ranged between 0.25 and 4.5 cm. Sediment accumulation rates will be determined using 210Pb, with verification from an independent tracer, 137Cs, in selected cores. Preliminary results from 210Pb profiles reveal thorough, long-term (decadal) sediment mixing to at least 40 cm at all sites

  14. Temporal patterns of Deepwater Horizon impacts on the benthic infauna of the northern Gulf of Mexico continental slope.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reuscher, Michael G; Baguley, Jeffrey G; Conrad-Forrest, Nathan; Cooksey, Cynthia; Hyland, Jeffrey L; Lewis, Christopher; Montagna, Paul A; Ricker, Robert W; Rohal, Melissa; Washburn, Travis

    2017-01-01

    The Deepwater Horizon oil spill occurred in spring and summer 2010 in the northern Gulf of Mexico. Research cruises in 2010 (approximately 2-3 months after the well had been capped), 2011, and 2014 were conducted to determine the initial and subsequent effects of the oil spill on deep-sea soft-bottom infauna. A total of 34 stations were sampled from two zones: 20 stations in the "impact" zone versus 14 stations in the "non-impact" zone. Chemical contaminants were significantly different between the two zones. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons averaged 218 ppb in the impact zone compared to 14 ppb in the non-impact zone. Total petroleum hydrocarbons averaged 1166 ppm in the impact zone compared to 102 ppm in the non-impact zone. While there was no difference between zones for meiofauna and macrofauna abundance, community diversity was significantly lower in the impact zone. Meiofauna taxa richness over the three sampling periods averaged 8 taxa/sample in the impact zone, compared to 10 taxa/sample in the non-impact zone; and macrofauna richness averaged 25 taxa/sample in the impact zone compared to 30 taxa/sample in the non-impact zone. Oil originating from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill reached the seafloor and had a persistent negative impact on diversity of soft-bottom, deep-sea benthic communities. While there are signs of recovery for some benthic community variables, full recovery has not yet occurred four years after the spill.

  15. Multitissue molecular, genomic, and developmental effects of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on resident Gulf killifish (Fundulus grandis).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dubansky, Benjamin; Whitehead, Andrew; Miller, Jeffrey T; Rice, Charles D; Galvez, Fernando

    2013-05-21

    The Deepwater Horizon oil rig disaster resulted in crude oil contamination along the Gulf coast in sensitive estuaries. Toxicity from exposure to crude oil can affect populations of fish that live or breed in oiled habitats as seen following the Exxon Valdez oil spill. In an ongoing study of the effects of Deepwater Horizon crude oil on fish, Gulf killifish ( Fundulus grandis ) were collected from an oiled site (Grande Terre, LA) and two reference locations (coastal MS and AL) and monitored for measures of exposure to crude oil. Killifish collected from Grande Terre had divergent gene expression in the liver and gill tissue coincident with the arrival of contaminating oil and up-regulation of cytochrome P4501A (CYP1A) protein in gill, liver, intestine, and head kidney for over one year following peak landfall of oil (August 2011) compared to fish collected from reference sites. Furthermore, laboratory exposures of Gulf killifish embryos to field-collected sediments from Grande Terre and Barataria Bay, LA, also resulted in increased CYP1A and developmental abnormalities when exposed to sediments collected from oiled sites compared to exposure to sediments collected from a reference site. These data are predictive of population-level impacts in fish exposed to sediments from oiled locations along the Gulf of Mexico coast.

  16. Computer simulation of reservoir depletion and oil flow from the Macondo well following the Deepwater Horizon blowout

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hsieh, Paul

    2010-01-01

    This report describes the application of a computer model to simulate reservoir depletion and oil flow from the Macondo well following the Deepwater Horizon blowout. Reservoir and fluid data used for model development are based on (1) information released in BP's investigation report of the incident, (2) information provided by BP personnel during meetings in Houston, Texas, and (3) calibration by history matching to shut-in pressures measured in the capping stack during the Well Integrity Test. The model is able to closely match the measured shut-in pressures. In the simulation of the 86-day period from the blowout to shut in, the simulated reservoir pressure at the well face declines from the initial reservoir pressure of 11,850 pounds per square inch (psi) to 9,400 psi. After shut in, the simulated reservoir pressure recovers to a final value of 10,300 psi. The pressure does not recover back to the initial pressure owing to reservoir depletion caused by 86 days of oil discharge. The simulated oil flow rate declines from 63,600 stock tank barrels per day just after the Deepwater Horizon blowout to 52,600 stock tank barrels per day just prior to shut in. The simulated total volume of oil discharged is 4.92 million stock tank barrels. The overall uncertainty in the simulated flow rates and total volume of oil discharged is estimated to be + or - 10 percent.

  17. Epidemiologic studies of behavioral health following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill: limited impact or limited ability to measure?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teich, Judith L; Pemberton, Michael R

    2015-01-01

    Two large-scale epidemiologic federal surveys conducted in the Gulf Coast following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and intended to measure its impact on mental disorders and substance use found less dramatic results than had been anticipated. However, several smaller-scale studies conducted shortly after the spill did find increases in the prevalence of certain psychological problems among individuals surveyed. Previous federal studies conducted following two disasters-the destruction of the World Trade Center (WTC) and Hurricanes Katrina and Rita-found few statistically significant changes in behavioral disorders in the wake of those events, except for individuals displaced from their homes by Katrina for 2 weeks or more. In this commentary, the authors discuss questions raised by these mixed results regarding the limitations of such studies, the behavioral health impact of the Deepwater Horizon spill compared to disasters causing more widespread loss of life and destruction of property, and the ways in which data collection following disasters might be improved to benefit public health planners.

  18. Entry of Oil to the Coastal Planktonic Food Web During the Deepwater Horizon Spill (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graham, W. M.; Condon, R. H.; Carmichael, R. H.; D'Ambra, I.; Patterson, H. K.; Hernandez, F. J., Jr.

    2010-12-01

    After the explosion and subsequent sinking of the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) on 22 April 2010, an estimated 780,000 m3 of Sweet Louisiana Crude (SLC) and 205,000 mT of methane were released into the northern Gulf of Mexico over an 85 d period. A great deal of controversy ensued regarding the application of unprecedented volumes of chemical dispersants both at the surface and at depth. One of the consequences of dispersing such large volumes of oil into the water column was the difficulty of tracking its fate over distance and through the food web. Most of the attention to date has been on large underwater plumes of oil, and scant evidence exists for subsea oil in warm (>25 °C), shallow shelf waters due to rapid weathering and utilization by prokaryotes. A large pool of isotopically depleted carbon from released oil and methane is presumably available to zooplankton and zooplankton-eating fish and invertebrates via prokaryotic consumers. Thus, carbon isotopic depletion extending into marine zooplankton grazers, a pathway mediated by the microbial food web, is a good proxy for food web modification by the spill. We employed δ13C as a tracer of oil-derived carbon incorporation into the lower marine food web across the middle and inner continental shelf. During June-August 2010, we followed two particle size classes: the nominally 1 μm - 0.2 mm “small suspended particulate” and the >0.2-2 mm “mesozooplankton” fractions, with the former considered likely food particle size for the latter. A clear pattern of δ13C depletion occurring in each fraction at middle and inner shelf stations was consistent with two sequential northward pulses of surface oil slicks from DWH. Relative to early June, an isotopic shift of -1 to -3 ‰ (toward weathered and fresh oil, -27.23 ± 0.03 ‰ and -27.34 ± 0.34 ‰, respectively) occurred during the peak of areal coverage of oil over the sites in late June 2010. Recovery of this depletion was 2-4 wks. A third pulse of residual oil

  19. Was the extreme and widespread marine oil-snow sedimentation and flocculent accumulation (MOSSFA) event during the Deepwater Horizon blow-out unique?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vonk, S.M.; Hollander, D.J.; Murk, A.J.

    2015-01-01

    During the Deepwater Horizon blowout, thick layers of oiled material were deposited on the deep seafloor. This large scale benthic concentration of oil is suggested to have occurred via the process of Marine Oil Snow Sedimentation and Flocculent Accumulation (MOSSFA). This meta-analysis investigates

  20. Was the extreme and widespread marine oil-snow sedimentation and flocculent accumulation (MOSSFA) event during the Deepwater Horizon blow-out unique?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vonk, S.M.; Hollander, D.J.; Murk, A.J.

    2015-01-01

    During the Deepwater Horizon blowout, thick layers of oiled material were deposited on the deep seafloor. This large scale benthic concentration of oil is suggested to have occurred via the process of Marine Oil Snow Sedimentation and Flocculent Accumulation (MOSSFA). This meta-analysis investigates

  1. Investigation of petroleum residues and microbial PLFA in Barataria Bay sediments one year after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clay, S.; Zimmerman, A. R.; Mahmoudi, N.; Silliman, B. R.; Slater, G. F.

    2012-12-01

    The Deepwater Horizon spill released crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico over a period of 3 months in 2010. Barataria Bay, Louisiana was among the most heavily impacted and extensively oil-contaminated coastlines. Studies conducted in the marshes show significant ecological and geologic effects from oil residues that reached the bay. Observation of the presence of an oil sheen associated with sediment disturbance raised the question as to whether petroleum residues were also present in the sediments of Barataria Bay. In order to address this question, six sediment cores were collected from non-oiled (#1 & 2) and oiled (#3-6) portions of Barataria Bay approximately one year after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Concentrations of n-alkanes, unresolved complex material (UCM) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) were determined in these upper sediments. In addition, concentrations of phospholipid fatty acids (PLFA) were determined to assess variations in microbial community abundance. Alkane concentrations ranged from 134 to 747 ng/g with chain lengths from C12 to C35. Most cores showed an odd over even preference (carbon preference index of 1.2 to 4.3) with highest concentrations of long chain compounds between C24 and C35 (average chain length 29 to 39), consistent with a terrestrial carbon source such as plant waxes. Core #6 however, in the southwest portion of the bay, had the lowest concentrations of alkanes, and shorter n-alkane chain lengths overall. Despite this difference, the core maintains a relatively high carbon preference index and average chain length compared to that which would be expected from oil contaminated sediments. Measured PAH concentrations were highly variable ranging from undetectable to 436 ng/g. These values are several orders of magnitude lower than what is generally seen in highly contaminated sediments. Further, UCM concentrations were negligible in the cores from the oiled regions. These findings suggest only a minimal presence of

  2. Molecular characterization of benthic foraminifera communities from the Northeastern Gulf of Mexico shelf and slope following the Deepwater Horizon event

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moss, Joseph A.; McCurry, Chelsea; Schwing, Patrick; Jeffrey, Wade H.; Romero, Isabel C.; Hollander, David J.; Snyder, Richard A.

    2016-09-01

    Benthic foraminifera are globally distributed protozoa in the world's oceans, which have been used as ecological indicators in both current and palaeo oceanography. The ecological properties and distribution of these organisms in various regions of the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) have been evaluated using microscopy; however molecular approaches for these purposes have been limited, especially in deeper regions. The BP Deepwater Horizon oil well failure in the northern Gulf of Mexico highlighted the need to better understand the distribution and abundance of these organisms relative to environmental factors and ecosystem perturbations such as the oil spill. Sediment samples were collected using a Shipek grab along transects on the northwest Florida GOM shelf (18-270 m depth). Clone libraries were developed from PCR amplified 18S rDNA genes for sequence analysis. Analysis of random clones from libraries were used as a proxy for community structure (presence and relative abundance) to document the spatial and temporal dynamics of benthic foraminifera on the Northwest Florida Shelf in the NE GOM shelf. Additional continental slope samples (200-1600 m depth) were obtained by a multicorer and treated in similar fashion. Mean species diversity in this study (H=2.49-3.36), agreed with pre-DWH event estimates, however the dominant agglutinated species in the deep-water samples did not match previous studies. Additionally, the dominant calcareous taxa from this study such as Allogromida sp. and Psammophaga sp., were inconsistent with previous reports. The dominant taxa in both coastal and deep-water sites include Glabratellina sp., Trochammina hadai, and Trochammina sp., and Textularia sagittula and Bathysiphon argenteus as well as members of genera Astrammina, Bolivina, Cibicides and Cibicidoides.

  3. Atmospheric emissions from the Deepwater Horizon spill constrain air-water partitioning, hydrocarbon fate, and leak rate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ryerson, T. B.; Aikin, K. C.; Angevine, W. M.; Atlas, E. L.; Blake, D. R.; Brock, C. A.; Fehsenfeld, F. C.; Gao, R.-S.; de Gouw, J. A.; Fahey, D. W.; Holloway, J. S.; Lack, D. A.; Lueb, R. A.; Meinardi, S.; Middlebrook, A. M.; Murphy, D. M.; Neuman, J. A.; Nowak, J. B.; Parrish, D. D.; Peischl, J.; Perring, A. E.; Pollack, I. B.; Ravishankara, A. R.; Roberts, J. M.; Schwarz, J. P.; Spackman, J. R.; Stark, H.; Warneke, C.; Watts, L. A.

    2011-04-01

    The fate of deepwater releases of gas and oil mixtures is initially determined by solubility and volatility of individual hydrocarbon species; these attributes determine partitioning between air and water. Quantifying this partitioning is necessary to constrain simulations of gas and oil transport, to predict marine bioavailability of different fractions of the gas-oil mixture, and to develop a comprehensive picture of the fate of leaked hydrocarbons in the marine environment. Analysis of airborne atmospheric data shows massive amounts (˜258,000 kg/day) of hydrocarbons evaporating promptly from the Deepwater Horizon spill; these data collected during two research flights constrain air-water partitioning, thus bioavailability and fate, of the leaked fluid. This analysis quantifies the fraction of surfacing hydrocarbons that dissolves in the water column (˜33% by mass), the fraction that does not dissolve, and the fraction that evaporates promptly after surfacing (˜14% by mass). We do not quantify the leaked fraction lacking a surface expression; therefore, calculation of atmospheric mass fluxes provides a lower limit to the total hydrocarbon leak rate of 32,600 to 47,700 barrels of fluid per day, depending on reservoir fluid composition information. This study demonstrates a new approach for rapid-response airborne assessment of future oil spills.

  4. Application of fluorescence and PARAFAC to assess vertical distribution of subsurface hydrocarbons and dispersant during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mendoza, Wilson G; Riemer, Daniel D; Zika, Rod G

    2013-05-01

    We evaluated the use of excitation and emission matrix (EEM) fluorescence and parallel factorial analysis (PARAFAC) modeling techniques for monitoring crude oil components in the water column. Four of the seven derived PARAFAC loadings were associated with the Macondo crude oil components. The other three components were associated with the dispersant, an unresolved component and colored dissolved organic matter (CDOM). The fluorescence of the associated benzene and naphthalene-like components of crude oil exhibited a maximum at ∼1200 m. The maximum fluorescence of the component associated with the dispersant (i.e., Corexit EC9500A) was observed at the same depth. The plume observed at this depth was attributed to the dispersed crude oil from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Results demonstrate the application of EEM and PARAFAC to simultaneously monitor selected PAH, dispersant-containing and humic-like fluorescence components in the oil spill region in the Gulf of Mexico.

  5. Reassuring or risky: the presentation of seafood safety in the aftermath of the British Petroleum Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greiner, Amelia L; Lagasse, Lisa P; Neff, Roni A; Love, David C; Chase, Rachel; Sokol, Natasha; Smith, Katherine Clegg

    2013-07-01

    The BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill was enormously newsworthy; coverage interlaced discussions of health, economic, and environmental impacts and risks. We analyzed 315 news articles that considered Gulf seafood safety from the year following the spill. We explored reporting trends, risk presentation, message source, stakeholder perspectives on safety, and framing of safety messages. Approximately one third of articles presented risk associated with seafood consumption as a standalone issue, rather than in conjunction with environmental or economic risks. Government sources were most frequent and their messages were largely framed as reassuring as to seafood safety. Discussions of prevention were limited to short-term, secondary prevention approaches. These data demonstrate a need for risk communication in news coverage of food safety that addresses the larger risk context, primary prevention, and structural causes of risk.

  6. Fate of Deepwater Horizon oil in Alabama's beach system: understanding physical evolution processes based on observational data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayworth, Joel S; Prabakhar Clement, T; John, Gerald F; Yin, Fang

    2015-01-15

    The impact of MC252 oil on northern Gulf of Mexico (GOM) beaches from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon (DWH) catastrophe was extensive along Alabama's beaches. While considerable amount of cleanup has occurred along these beaches, as of August 2014, DWH oil spill residues continue to be found as surface residual balls (SRBs), and also occasionally as submerged oil mats (SOMs). Four years of field observations informing the fate and transport of DWH SRBs in Alabama's beach system are presented here, along with a conceptual framework for describing their physical evolution processes. The observation data show that SRBs containing MC252 residues currently remain in Alabama's beach system, although their relationship to SOMs is not fully known. Based on our field observations we conclude that small DWH SRBs are likely to persist for several years along the Alabama shoreline.

  7. Baseline for PAHs and metals in NW Gulf of Mexico related to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill

    Science.gov (United States)

    Botello, Alfonso V.; Soto, Luis A.; Ponce-Vélez, Guadalupe; Villanueva F., Susana

    2015-04-01

    As a rapid response to the massive oil spill caused by the sinking of the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) Platform in the northern Gulf of Mexico in April 2010, a baseline study was initiated. The study focused on determining the concentration of crude oil petroleum hydrocarbons and trace metals (Cr, Ni and V) in water and surface sediments from Mexico's EZZ, in the NW Gulf of Mexico. A total of 60 samples obtained from the shelf-slope regions were analyzed by GC/FID for 16 EPA priority polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and ICP/MS for Cr, Ni and V. The concentrations of PAHs in the surface water were below detection limits (Mexico's EZZ in the NW Gulf of Mexico, no evidence of the DWH oil spill have been detected.

  8. Rapid microbial respiration of oil from the Deepwater Horizon spill in offshore surface waters of the Gulf of Mexico

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Edwards, Bethanie R; Reddy, Christopher M; Carmichael, Catherine A; Longnecker, Krista; Van Mooy, Benjamin A S [Department of Marine Chemistry and Geochemistry, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole (United States); Camilli, Richard, E-mail: bvanmooy@whoi.edu [Department of Applied Ocean Physics and Engineering, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole (United States)

    2011-07-15

    The Deepwater Horizon oil spill was one of the largest oil spills in history, and the fate of this oil within the Gulf of Mexico ecosystem remains to be fully understood. The goal of this study-conducted in mid-June of 2010, approximately two months after the oil spill began-was to understand the key role that microbes would play in the degradation of the oil in the offshore oligotrophic surface waters near the Deepwater Horizon site. As the utilization of organic carbon by bacteria in the surface waters of the Gulf had been previously shown to be phosphorus limited, we hypothesized that bacteria would be unable to rapidly utilize the oil released from the Macondo well. Although phosphate was scarce throughout the sampling region and microbes exhibited enzymatic signs of phosphate stress within the oil slick, microbial respiration within the slick was enhanced by approximately a factor of five. An incubation experiment to determine hydrocarbon degradation rates confirmed that a large fraction of this enhanced respiration was supported by hydrocarbon degradation. Extrapolating our observations to the entire area of the slick suggests that microbes had the potential to degrade a large fraction of the oil as it arrived at the surface from the well. These observations decidedly refuted our hypothesis. However, a concomitant increase in microbial abundance or biomass was not observed in the slick, suggesting that microbial growth was nutrient limited; incubations amended with nutrients showed rapid increases in cell number and biomass, which supported this conclusion. Our study shows that the dynamic microbial community of the Gulf of Mexico supported remarkable rates of oil respiration, despite a dearth of dissolved nutrients.

  9. Images of Gorgonian Corals in the Gulf of Mexico taken from 2010-11-03 to 2010-12-14 in response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill event (NCEI Accession 0084636)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Images of Gorgonian Corals were taken during two cruises in the Gulf of Mexico in response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill event. The first cruise was aboard NOAA...

  10. Chemical and physical oceanographic profile data collected from CTD casts aboard the American Diver in the Gulf of Mexico on 2010-08-04 in response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill event (NODC Accession 0069088)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Chemical and physical oceanographic profile data were collected aboard the American Diver in the Gulf of Mexico on 2010-08-04 in response to the Deepwater Horizon...

  11. Biological and chemical data of oil-derived elements being assimilated by oysters due to the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill collected in Alabama and Mississippi coastal waters (NODC Accession 0118498)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This dataset contains stable isotope ratios of carbon and nitrogen in oyster shell, suspended particulate matter (SPM), and oil from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill....

  12. Collection of scribe databases compiled in response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill incident in the Gulf of Mexico from 04/23/2010 to 11/08/2011 (NODC Accession 0086261)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The Scribe Database Collection includes 14 databases containing data from the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) Oil Spill Event Response Phase. These databases are the work of...

  13. Near-realtime oceanographic profile data collected by Floats from 20100524 to 20101206 as part of the GTSPP in response to the 20100420 Deepwater Horizon oil spill event (NODC Accession 0065725)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Data products and in situ oceanographic data collected in response to the Deepwater Horizon Event in the Gulf of Mexico (May 2010). The Global Temperature and...

  14. Near-realtime oceanographic profile data collected by XBT's aboard the Walton Smith from 20100607 to 20100610 as part of the GTSPP in response to the 20100420 Deepwater Horizon oil spill event (NODC Accession 0065727)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Data products and in situ oceanographic data collected in response to the Deepwater Horizon Event in the Gulf of Mexico (May 2010). The Global Temperature and...

  15. Near-realtime oceanographic profile data collected by AXBT's and AXCTD's from NOAA Aircraft from 20100508 to 20100724 as part of the GTSPP in response to the 20100420 Deepwater Horizon oil spill event (NODC Accession 0065723)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Data products and in situ oceanographic data collected in response to the Deepwater Horizon Event in the Gulf of Mexico (May 2010). The Global Temperature and...

  16. Near-realtime oceanographic profile data collected by Multiple Unidentified Platforms from 20100422 to 20100724 as part of the GTSPP in response to the 20100420 Deepwater Horizon oil spill event (NODC Accession 0065726)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Data products and in situ oceanographic data collected in response to the Deepwater Horizon Event in the Gulf of Mexico (May 2010). The Global Temperature and...

  17. Near-realtime oceanographic profile data collected by Gliders from 20100528 to 20100830 as part of the GTSPP in response to the 20100420 Deepwater Horizon oil spill event (NODC Accession 0065724)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Data products and in situ oceanographic data collected in response to the Deepwater Horizon Event in the Gulf of Mexico (May 2010). The Global Temperature and...

  18. Physical and profile oceanographic data collected aboard the ENDEAVOR in the Gulf of Mexico from 2010-06-17 to 2010-06-30 in response to the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill event (NODC Accession 0084592)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Physical and profile oceanographic data were collected aboard the ENDEAVOR in the Gulf of Mexico from 2010-06-17 to 2010-06-30 in response to the Deepwater Horizon...

  19. Unknown oceanographic data collected aboard NOAA Ship THOMAS JEFFERSON in the Gulf of Mexico from 2010-05-23 to 2010-05-28 in response to the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill event (NCEI Accession 0084596)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Unknown oceanographic data were collected aboard NOAA Ship THOMAS JEFFERSON in the Gulf of Mexico from 2010-05-23 to 2010-05-28 in response to the Deepwater Horizon...

  20. Turbulence measurements in the northern gulf of Mexico: Application to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on droplet dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Zhankun; DiMarco, Steven F.; Socolofsky, Scott A.

    2016-03-01

    An integrated observational field effort that makes simultaneous and collocated measurements of turbulence and fine-scale parameters has been conducted near the Deepwater Horizon oil spill site in the northern Gulf of Mexico (GOM). Full water column profiles are collected across the continental slope in July 2013. The observational results suggest that strong turbulence is patchy and mostly measured in the thermocline and deepwater when using the buoyancy Reynolds number, Reb=200 criterion, the boundary between weak and strong turbulence. Bottom enhanced turbulence is often seen on the continental slope. Using the ratio of the turbulent velocity scale and the oil droplets rising velocity, we develop criteria for when turbulence will dominate the movement of oil droplets and when turbulence can be ignored. Based on the data collected, for oil droplets with rising velocity greater than 6×10-3 m s-1, the turbulence effect can be ignored on the continental slope of the northern GOM. For oil droplets with rising speed less than 10-4 m s-1, their motions will be affected by the turbulent flow at all depths. For oil droplets with rising speed between 10-4 and 6×10-3 m s-1, the role of turbulence will depend on the strength of the local turbulence and water stratification. We also relate turbulent velocity to the size and density of oil droplets by estimating the rising velocity of different size oil droplets due to balance between buoyancy and drag force. Droplet size and density difference are the two critical parameters in determining the role of turbulence.

  1. 75 FR 69652 - National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-11-15

    ... and Offshore Drilling AGENCY: Department of Energy, Office of Fossil Energy. ACTION: Notice of open... Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling (the Commission). The Commission was organized pursuant to the... to guard against, and mitigate the impact of, any oil spills associated with offshore drilling in...

  2. Temporal trends in microbial abundance and biodegradation in Louisiana salt marshes following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahmoudi, N.; Fulthorpe, R. R.; Zimmerman, A. R.; Silliman, B. R.; Slater, G. F.

    2012-12-01

    The Deepwater Horizon oil spill that began in April 2010 released approximately 4.9 million barrels of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico waters. Coastal salt marshes experienced moderate to heavy oiling as spilled oils washed ashore and threatened economically important habitats. In situ biodegradation of petroleum by microbes is one of the most effective methods used to remediate oil spills. However, demonstrating biodegradation can be challenging due to heterogeneous distributions of contaminants and dynamic conditions of coastal ecosystems. Salt marshes provide a unique opportunity in which variations in the natural abundance of δ13C can be used to confirm in situ biodegradation of petroleum. Marsh grasses, specifically Spartina sp., have δ13C values of -12 to -14‰ whereas the BP crude oil has a δ13C signature of -27‰. Thus, the 13C content of microbial membrane lipids (which reflects their carbon source) can be used to detect incorporation of petroleum-derived carbon. We investigated biodegradation in marsh sediments in oiled and non-oiled portions of Barataria Bay, Louisiana which experienced some of the most extensive oil contamination. Samples were collected 3, 9 and 15 months following Deepwater Horizon oil intrusion to assess biodegradation over time. Total alkane and PAH analyses confirmed that by Oct 2011 (15 months), concentrations had been significantly reduced (by up to 50,000 ug/kg at some sites). Microbial phospholipid fatty acids (PLFA) analysis revealed that cell densities decreased over the 1 year sampling period across both oil-impacted and non-impacted sites indicating that, rather than petroleum presence, seasonal variability was likely the primary control on microbial abundance. The ranges of δ13C PLFA values in oil-impacted (-26.7 to -30.5‰ ± 1.0) and non-impacted sediments (-24.5 to -33.3‰ ± 0.7) in Oct 2010 overlap, thereby reducing confidence in confirmation of biodegradation at this time point. However, in Oct 2011, PLFA

  3. Adrenal Gland and Lung Lesions in Gulf of Mexico Common Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) Found Dead following the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

    OpenAIRE

    Stephanie Venn-Watson; Kathleen M. Colegrove; Jenny Litz; Michael Kinsel; Karen Terio; Jeremiah Saliki; Spencer Fire; Ruth Carmichael; Connie Chevis; Wendy Hatchett; Jonathan Pitchford; Mandy Tumlin; Cara Field; Suzanne Smith; Ruth Ewing

    2015-01-01

    A northern Gulf of Mexico (GoM) cetacean unusual mortality event (UME) involving primarily bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama began in February 2010 and continued into 2014. Overlapping in time and space with this UME was the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill, which was proposed as a contributing cause of adrenal disease, lung disease, and poor health in live dolphins examined during 2011 in Barataria Bay, Louisiana. To assess potential contributin...

  4. Metagenomic analysis and metabolite profiling of deep–sea sediments from the Gulf of Mexico following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill

    OpenAIRE

    Nikole E. Kimes; Callaghan, Amy V.; Aktas, Deniz F.; Smith, Whitney L.; Sunner, Jan; Golding, BernardT.; Drozdowska, Marta; Hazen, Terry C.; Suflita, Joseph M.; Morris, Pamela J.

    2013-01-01

    Marine subsurface environments such as deep-sea sediments, house abundant and diverse microbial communities that are believed to influence large-scale geochemical processes. These processes include the biotransformation and mineralization of numerous petroleum constituents. Thus, microbial communities in the Gulf of Mexico are thought to be responsible for the intrinsic bioremediation of crude oil released by the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill. While hydrocarbon contamination is known to e...

  5. Using Ramped Pyrolysis - Gas Chromatography - Mass Spectrometry to Evaluate Petroleum Hydrocarbons Following the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evans, M.; Rosenheim, B. E.; Bacosa, H. P.; Liu, J.; Liu, Z.

    2016-02-01

    In summer of 2010, the Deepwater Horizon oil spill polluted hundreds of miles of coastline along the Gulf of Mexico. A combination of human-mediated and natural weathering processes then altered the chemical composition (i.e. toxicity) of this spilled crude oil over time and space. One of the most important, yet challenging, aspects of oil spill science is to quantify these chemical changes in natural environments. In this study, we develop ramped pyrolysis - gas chromatography - mass spectrometry (Py-GC-MS) to address this challenge. In this technique, 0.1mg of freeze-dried sample is pyrolyzed over a gradual temperature ramp (50-650°C). The eluded gas is cold-trapped over different thermal ranges (a.k.a. thermal slicing) and each range is individually analyzed via GC-MS, yielding quantifiable, compound-specific results. Py-GC-MS with thermal slicing has never been used for petroleum hydrocarbon analysis, but it has many advantages - it uses minimal sample, is time efficient and does not require sample preparation (minimizing compound loss and increasing the analytical window). During development of this method, we analyzed oiled sediments and tar collected on Grand Isle, Louisiana from 2010-2012. We quantified n-alkane (C10-C38), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) and hopane content and confirmed these results with traditional solvent extraction, silica gel fractionation and mass spectrometry. Overall, we found rapid depletion of n-alkanes and PAHs (>90% depletion) in all samples within one year of Deepwater Horizon. After this, n-alkanes were almost 100% depleted by 2012, while PAH degradation continued to a maximum total degradation of 99% and 98% in sediment and tar, respectively. This not only describes the fate of petroleum compounds in salt marshes and beach deposits over time, but also complements previous radiocarbon studies of the same samples showing different rates of degradation in different micro-environments. In addition, the results presented

  6. Classification of wetlands and deepwater habitats of the United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cowardin, L.M.; Carter, V.; Golet, F.C.; LaRoe, E.T.

    1985-01-01

    This classification, to be used in a new inventory of wetlands and deepwater habitats of the United States, is intended to describe ecological taxa, arrange them in a system useful to resource managers, furnish units for mapping, and provide uniformity of concepts and terms. Wetlands are defined by plants (hydrophytes), soils (hydric soils), and frequency of flooding. Ecologically related areas of deep water, traditionally not considered wetlands, are included in the classification as deepwater habitats.Systems form the highest level of the classification hierarchy; five are defined-Marine, Estuarine, Riverine, Lacustrine, and Palustrine. Marine and Estuarine Systems each have two Subsystems, Subtidal and Intertidal; the Riverine System has four Subsystems, Tidal, Lower Perennial, Upper Perennial, and Intermittent; the Lacustrine has two, Littoral and Limnetic; and the Palustrine has no Subsystems.Within the Subsystems, Classes are based on substrate material and flooding regime, or on vegetative life form. The same Classes may appear under one or more of the Systems or Subsystems. Six Classes are based on substrate and flooding regime: (1) Rock Bottom with a substrate of bedrock, boulders, or stones; (2) Unconsolidated Bottom with a substrate of cobbles, gravel, sand, mud, or organic material; (3) Rocky Shore with the same substrates as Rock Bottom; (4) Unconsolidated Shore with the same substrates as Unconsolidated Bottom; (5) Streambed with any of the substrates; and (6) Reef with a substrate composed of the living and dead remains of invertebrates (corals, mollusks, or worms). The bottom Classes, (1) and (2) above, are flooded all or most of the time and the shore Classes, (3) and (4), are exposed most of the time. The Class Streambed is restricted to channels of intermittent streams and tidal channels that are dewatered at low tide. The life form of the dominant vegetation defines the five Classes based on vegetative form: (1) Aquatic Bed, dominated by plants

  7. Evaluating bacterial community structures in oil collected from the sea surface and sediment in the northern Gulf of Mexico after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Zhanfei; Liu, Jiqing

    2013-06-01

    Bacterial community structures were evaluated in oil samples using culture-independent pyrosequencing, including oil mousses collected on sea surface and salt marshes during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, and oil deposited in sediments adjacent to the wellhead 1 year after the spill. Phylogenetic analysis suggested that Erythrobacter, Rhodovulum, Stappia, and Thalassospira of Alphaproteobacteria were the prevailing groups in the oil mousses, which may relate to high temperatures and strong irradiance in surface Gulf waters. In the mousse collected from the leaves of Spartina alterniflora, Vibrio of Gammaproteobacteria represented 57% of the total operational taxonomic units, suggesting that this indigenous genus is particularly responsive to the oil contamination in salt marshes. The bacterial communities in oil-contaminated sediments were highly diversified. The relatively high abundance of the Methylococcus, Methylobacter, Actinobacteria, Firmicutes, and Chlorofexi bacteria resembles those found in certain cold-seep sediments with gas hydrates. Bacterial communities in the overlying water of the oil-contaminated sediment were dominated by Ralstonia of Betaproteobacteria, which can degrade small aromatics, and Saccharophagus degradans of Gammaproteobacteria, a cellulose degrader, suggesting that overlying water was affected by the oil-contaminated sediments, possibly due to the dissolution of small aromatics and biosurfactants produced during biodegradation. Overall, these results provided key information needed to evaluate oil degradation in the region and develop future bioremediation strategies.

  8. Endocrine status of a migratory bird potentially exposed to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill: a case study of northern gannets breeding on Bonaventure Island, Eastern Canada.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Franci, Cynthia D; Guillemette, Magella; Pelletier, Emilien; Chastel, Olivier; Bonnefoi, Salomé; Verreault, Jonathan

    2014-03-01

    The Deepwater Horizon oil spill caused the death of a large number of seabirds in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. However, the long term consequences of oil exposure on migratory birds overwintering in this area have received limited attention. The present study aimed to investigate the impact of oil contamination (e.g., polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs)) on the circulating status of prolactin and corticosterone, two hormones that influence reproductive success in birds, in Northern gannets (Morus bassanus) breeding on Bonaventure Island, Eastern Canada. Using light-based geolocators, it was found that 23.5% of Northern gannets from Bonaventure Island overwintered in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010-2011; the remainder of this population overwintered along the Atlantic Coast of the United States. PAH concentrations (eight compounds) in gannet blood cells were all found to be under the method limits of quantification, which could be the result of the ability of seabirds to metabolize these compounds and the time elapsed between oil exposure and blood sampling. Corticosterone and prolactin levels as well as body mass did not differ between the two major birds' wintering sites. Moreover, levels of both these hormones did not vary from early to late incubation period. Present results suggest that if Bonaventure Island-breeding Northern gannets had been exposed to oil in the Gulf of Mexico in the aftermath of this historical spill, this exposure could not be associated with changes in hormonal status and body mass in breeding individuals.

  9. Evaluating bacterial community structures in oil collected from the sea surface and sediment in the northern Gulf of Mexico after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Zhanfei; Liu, Jiqing

    2013-01-01

    Bacterial community structures were evaluated in oil samples using culture-independent pyrosequencing, including oil mousses collected on sea surface and salt marshes during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, and oil deposited in sediments adjacent to the wellhead 1 year after the spill. Phylogenetic analysis suggested that Erythrobacter, Rhodovulum, Stappia, and Thalassospira of Alphaproteobacteria were the prevailing groups in the oil mousses, which may relate to high temperatures and strong irradiance in surface Gulf waters. In the mousse collected from the leaves of Spartina alterniflora, Vibrio of Gammaproteobacteria represented 57% of the total operational taxonomic units, suggesting that this indigenous genus is particularly responsive to the oil contamination in salt marshes. The bacterial communities in oil-contaminated sediments were highly diversified. The relatively high abundance of the Methylococcus, Methylobacter, Actinobacteria, Firmicutes, and Chlorofexi bacteria resembles those found in certain cold-seep sediments with gas hydrates. Bacterial communities in the overlying water of the oil-contaminated sediment were dominated by Ralstonia of Betaproteobacteria, which can degrade small aromatics, and Saccharophagus degradans of Gammaproteobacteria, a cellulose degrader, suggesting that overlying water was affected by the oil-contaminated sediments, possibly due to the dissolution of small aromatics and biosurfactants produced during biodegradation. Overall, these results provided key information needed to evaluate oil degradation in the region and develop future bioremediation strategies. PMID:23568850

  10. Toxicity of Deepwater Horizon source oil and the chemical dispersant, Corexit® 9500, to coral larvae.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gretchen Goodbody-Gringley

    Full Text Available Acute catastrophic events can cause significant damage to marine environments in a short time period and may have devastating long-term impacts. In April 2010 the BP-operated Deepwater Horizon (DWH offshore oil rig exploded, releasing an estimated 760 million liters of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico. This study examines the potential effects of oil spill exposure on coral larvae of the Florida Keys. Larvae of the brooding coral, Porites astreoides, and the broadcast spawning coral, Montastraea faveolata, were exposed to multiple concentrations of BP Horizon source oil (crude, weathered and WAF, oil in combination with the dispersant Corexit® 9500 (CEWAF, and dispersant alone, and analyzed for behavior, settlement, and survival. Settlement and survival of P. astreoides and M. faveolata larvae decreased with increasing concentrations of WAF, CEWAF and Corexit® 9500, however the degree of the response varied by species and solution. P. astreoides larvae experienced decreased settlement and survival following exposure to 0.62 ppm source oil, while M. faveolata larvae were negatively impacted by 0.65, 1.34 and 1.5 ppm, suggesting that P. astreoides larvae may be more tolerant to WAF exposure than M. faveolata larvae. Exposure to medium and high concentrations of CEWAF (4.28/18.56 and 30.99/35.76 ppm and dispersant Corexit® 9500 (50 and 100 ppm, significantly decreased larval settlement and survival for both species. Furthermore, exposure to Corexit® 9500 resulted in settlement failure and complete larval mortality after exposure to 50 and 100 ppm for M. faveolata and 100 ppm for P. astreoides. These results indicate that exposure of coral larvae to oil spill related contaminants, particularly the dispersant Corexit® 9500, has the potential to negatively impact coral settlement and survival, thereby affecting the resilience and recovery of coral reefs following exposure to oil and dispersants.

  11. A tale of two recent spills--comparison of 2014 Galveston Bay and 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill residues.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yin, Fang; Hayworth, Joel S; Clement, T Prabhakar

    2015-01-01

    Managing oil spill residues washing onto sandy beaches is a common worldwide environmental problem. In this study, we have analyzed the first-arrival oil spill residues collected from two Gulf of Mexico (GOM) beach systems following two recent oil spills: the 2014 Galveston Bay (GB) oil spill, and the 2010 Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill. This is the first study to provide field observations and chemical characterization data for the 2014 GB oil spill. Here we compare the physical and chemical characteristics of GB oil spill samples with DWH oil spill samples and present their similarities and differences. Our field observations indicate that both oil spills had similar shoreline deposition patterns; however, their physical and chemical characteristics differed considerably. We highlight these differences, discuss their implications, and interpret GB data in light of lessons learned from previously published DWH oil spill studies. These analyses are further used to assess the long-term fate of GB oil spill residues and their potential environmental impacts.

  12. The Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and the Mississippi Gulf Coast: Mental health in the context of a technological disaster.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drescher, Christopher F; Schulenberg, Stefan E; Smith, C Veronica

    2014-03-01

    A significant percentage of disaster survivors experience negative psychological, physical, and social outcomes after a disaster. The current study advances the literature concerning the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill (the Gulf Oil Spill) while addressing weaknesses of previous research. The current study includes a clinical sample of 1,119 adults receiving mental health services in the coastal counties of Mississippi after the Gulf Oil Spill. The levels of clinical symptoms reported on the Depression Anxiety Stress Scales (DASS-21) and PTSD Checklist (PCL-S) were examined in relation to other domains of functioning potentially affected by the spill (finances, social relationships, and physical health). Participants reported substantial worsening of their functioning across each life domain. Furthermore, chronic problems in living related to the Gulf Oil Spill were significantly associated with higher levels of psychological distress, although the pattern differed somewhat for persons living above and below the poverty line, with lower income individuals reporting a higher level of overall distress. These data support the perspective that the experience of the Gulf Oil Spill is strongly associated with a deleterious effect on mental health symptoms.

  13. Changing Dynamics of Dissolved Organic Matter Fluorescence in the Northern Gulf of Mexico Following the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill.

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'Sa, Eurico J; Overton, Edward B; Lohrenz, Steven E; Maiti, Kanchan; Turner, R Eugene; Freeman, Angelina

    2016-05-17

    The characteristics of fluorescent components of dissolved organic matter (DOM) were examined using excitation emission matrix (EEM) fluorescence spectroscopy combined with parallel-factor analysis (PARAFAC) for seawater samples obtained from the northern Gulf of Mexico (NGoM) before, during, and after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon (DwH) oil spill. An EEMs PARAFAC modeling of samples collected within 16 km of the wellhead during the oil spill in May 2010, which included one typical subsurface sample with a PAH concentration of 1.09 μg/L, identified two humic-like and two previously reported oil-like components. Compared to prespill levels, however, there were order-of-magnitude higher fluorescence intensities associated with these components that are consistent with an oil-spill source. The spectral decomposition of the EEMs data using individual and combined data sets from coastal and offshore waters impacted by the DwH spill further revealed the changing nature of fluorescent DOM composition. Although the PAHs concentrations were at prespill conditions after the spill in 2012 and 2013 near the DwH site, the variable and anomalous levels of fluorescence intensities and DOC concentrations three years after the spill suggest the potential long-term persistence of the oil in the DOC pool in the NGoM.

  14. Concentrations in human blood of petroleum hydrocarbons associated with the BP/Deepwater Horizon oil spill, Gulf of Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sammarco, Paul W; Kolian, Stephan R; Warby, Richard A F; Bouldin, Jennifer L; Subra, Wilma A; Porter, Scott A

    2016-04-01

    During/after the BP/Deepwater Horizon oil spill, cleanup workers, fisherpersons, SCUBA divers, and coastal residents were exposed to crude oil and dispersants. These people experienced acute physiological and behavioral symptoms and consulted a physician. They were diagnosed with petroleum hydrocarbon poisoning and had blood analyses analyzed for volatile organic compounds; samples were drawn 5-19 months after the spill had been capped. We examined the petroleum hydrocarbon concentrations in the blood. The aromatic compounds m,p-xylene, toluene, ethylbenzene, benzene, o-xylene, and styrene, and the alkanes hexane, 3-methylpentane, 2-methylpentane, and iso-octane were detected. Concentrations of the first four aromatics were not significantly different from US National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey/US National Institute of Standards and Technology 95th percentiles, indicating high concentrations of contaminants. The other two aromatics and the alkanes yielded equivocal results or significantly low concentrations. The data suggest that single-ring aromatic compounds are more persistent in the blood than alkanes and may be responsible for the observed symptoms. People should avoid exposure to crude oil through avoidance of the affected region, or utilizing hazardous materials suits if involved in cleanup, or wearing hazardous waste operations and emergency response suits if SCUBA diving. Concentrations of alkanes and PAHs in the blood of coastal residents and workers should be monitored through time well after the spill has been controlled.

  15. Condition of larval red snapper (Lutjanus campechanus) relative to environmental variability and the Deepwater Horizon oil spill

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hernandez, F. J., Jr.; Filbrun, J. E.; Fang, J.; Ransom, J. T.

    2016-09-01

    The Deepwater Horizon oil spill (DWHOS) spatially and temporally overlapped with the spawning of many fish species, including Red Snapper, one of the most economically important reef fish in the Gulf of Mexico. To investigate potential impacts of the DWHOS on larval Red Snapper, data from a long-term ichthyoplankton survey off the coast of Alabama were used to examine: (1) larval abundances among pre-impact (2007-2009), impact (2010), and post-impact (2011, 2013) periods; (2) proxies for larval condition (size-adjusted morphometric relationships and dry weight) among the same periods; and (3) the effects of background environmental variation on larval condition. We found that larval Red Snapper were in poorer body condition during 2010, 2011, and 2013 as compared to the 2007-2009 period, a trend that was strongly (and negatively) related to variation in Mobile Bay freshwater discharge. However, larvae collected during and after 2010 were in relatively poor condition even after accounting for variation in freshwater discharge and other environmental variables. By contrast, no differences in larval abundance were detected during these survey years. Taken together, larval supply did not change relative to the timing of the DWHOS, but larval condition was negatively impacted. Even small changes in condition can affect larval survival, so these trends may have consequences for recruitment of larvae to juvenile and adult life stages.

  16. Assessment of early life stage mahi-mahi windows of sensitivity during acute exposures to Deepwater Horizon crude oil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mager, Edward M; Pasparakis, Christina; Schlenker, Lela S; Yao, Zongli; Bodinier, Charlotte; Stieglitz, John D; Hoenig, Ronald; Morris, Jeffrey M; Benetti, Daniel D; Grosell, Martin

    2017-01-27

    Windows of exposure to a weathered Deepwater Horizon oil sample (slick A) were examined for early life stage mahi-mahi (Coryphaena hippurus) to determine whether there are developmental periods of enhanced sensitivity during the course of a standard 96-h bioassay. Survival was assessed at 96 h following oil exposures ranging from 2 h to 96 h and targeting 3 general periods of development, namely the prehatch phase, the period surrounding hatch, and the posthatch phase. In addition, 3 different oil preparations were used: high- and low-energy water accommodated fractions of oil and very thin surface slicks of oil (∼1 μm). The latter 2 were used to distinguish between effects due to direct contact with the slick itself and the water underlying the slick. Considering the data from all 3 exposure regimes, it was determined that the period near or including hatch was likely the most sensitive. Furthermore, toxicity was not enhanced by direct contact with slick oil. These findings are environmentally relevant given that the concentrations of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons eliciting mortality from exposures during the sensitive periods of development were below or near concentrations measured during the active spill phase. Environ Toxicol Chem 2016;9999:1-9. © 2016 SETAC.

  17. Reproductive outcome and survival of common bottlenose dolphins sampled in Barataria Bay, Louisiana, USA, following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lane, Suzanne M; Smith, Cynthia R; Mitchell, Jason; Balmer, Brian C; Barry, Kevin P; McDonald, Trent; Mori, Chiharu S; Rosel, Patricia E; Rowles, Teresa K; Speakman, Todd R; Townsend, Forrest I; Tumlin, Mandy C; Wells, Randall S; Zolman, Eric S; Schwacke, Lori H

    2015-11-01

    Common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) inhabit bays, sounds and estuaries across the Gulf of Mexico. Following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, studies were initiated to assess potential effects on these ecologically important apex predators. A previous study reported disease conditions, including lung disease and impaired stress response, for 32 dolphins that were temporarily captured and given health assessments in Barataria Bay, Louisiana, USA. Ten of the sampled dolphins were determined to be pregnant, with expected due dates the following spring or summer. Here, we report findings after 47 months of follow-up monitoring of those sampled dolphins. Only 20% (95% CI: 2.50-55.6%) of the pregnant dolphins produced viable calves, as compared with a previously reported pregnancy success rate of 83% in a reference population. Fifty-seven per cent of pregnant females that did not successfully produce a calf had been previously diagnosed with moderate-severe lung disease. In addition, the estimated annual survival rate of the sampled cohort was low (86.8%, 95% CI: 80.0-92.7%) as compared with survival rates of 95.1% and 96.2% from two other previously studied bottlenose dolphin populations. Our findings confirm low reproductive success and high mortality in dolphins from a heavily oiled estuary when compared with other populations. Follow-up studies are needed to better understand the potential recovery of dolphins in Barataria Bay and, by extension, other Gulf coastal regions impacted by the spill.

  18. Succession of hydrocarbon-degrading bacteria in the aftermath of the deepwater horizon oil spill in the gulf of Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dubinsky, Eric A; Conrad, Mark E; Chakraborty, Romy; Bill, Markus; Borglin, Sharon E; Hollibaugh, James T; Mason, Olivia U; M Piceno, Yvette; Reid, Francine C; Stringfellow, William T; Tom, Lauren M; Hazen, Terry C; Andersen, Gary L

    2013-10-01

    The Deepwater Horizon oil spill produced large subsurface plumes of dispersed oil and gas in the Gulf of Mexico that stimulated growth of psychrophilic, hydrocarbon degrading bacteria. We tracked succession of plume bacteria before, during and after the 83-day spill to determine the microbial response and biodegradation potential throughout the incident. Dominant bacteria shifted substantially over time and were dependent on relative quantities of different hydrocarbon fractions. Unmitigated flow from the wellhead early in the spill resulted in the highest proportions of n-alkanes and cycloalkanes at depth and corresponded with dominance by Oceanospirillaceae and Pseudomonas. Once partial capture of oil and gas began 43 days into the spill, petroleum hydrocarbons decreased, the fraction of aromatic hydrocarbons increased, and Colwellia, Cycloclasticus, and Pseudoalteromonas increased in dominance. Enrichment of Methylomonas coincided with positive shifts in the δ(13)C values of methane in the plume and indicated significant methane oxidation occurred earlier than previously reported. Anomalous oxygen depressions persisted at plume depths for over six weeks after well shut-in and were likely caused by common marine heterotrophs associated with degradation of high-molecular-weight organic matter, including Methylophaga. Multiple hydrocarbon-degrading bacteria operated simultaneously throughout the spill, but their relative importance was controlled by changes in hydrocarbon supply.

  19. Shifts in Symbiotic Endophyte Communities of a Foundational Salt Marsh Grass following Oil Exposure from the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kandalepas, Demetra; Blum, Michael J; Van Bael, Sunshine A

    2015-01-01

    Symbiotic associations can be disrupted by disturbance or by changing environmental conditions. Endophytes are fungal and bacterial symbionts of plants that can affect performance. As in more widely known symbioses, acute or chronic stressor exposure might trigger disassociation of endophytes from host plants. We tested this hypothesis by examining the effects of oil exposure following the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill on endophyte diversity and abundance in Spartina alterniflora - the foundational plant in northern Gulf coast salt marshes affected by the spill. We compared bacterial and fungal endophytes isolated from plants in reference areas to isolates from plants collected in areas with residual oil that has persisted for more than three years after the DWH spill. DNA sequence-based estimates showed that oil exposure shifted endophyte diversity and community structure. Plants from oiled areas exhibited near total loss of leaf fungal endophytes. Root fungal endophytes exhibited a more modest decline and little change was observed in endophytic bacterial diversity or abundance, though a shift towards hydrocarbon metabolizers was found in plants from oiled sites. These results show that plant-endophyte symbioses can be disrupted by stressor exposure, and indicate that symbiont community disassembly in marsh plants is an enduring outcome of the DWH spill.

  20. Characterizing the variability of benthic foraminifera in the northeastern Gulf of Mexico following the Deepwater Horizon event (2010-2012).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwing, P T; O'Malley, B J; Romero, I C; Martínez-Colón, M; Hastings, D W; Glabach, M A; Hladky, E M; Greco, A; Hollander, D J

    2017-01-01

    Following the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) event in 2010 subsurface hydrocarbon intrusions (1000-1300 m) and an order of magnitude increase in flocculent hydrocarbon deposition caused increased concentrations of hydrocarbons in continental slope sediments. This study sought to characterize the variability [density, Fisher's alpha (S), equitability (E), Shannon (H)] of benthic foraminifera following the DWH event. A series of sediment cores were collected at two sites in the northeastern Gulf of Mexico from 2010 to 2012. At each site, three cores were utilized for benthic faunal analysis, organic geochemistry, and redox metal chemistry, respectively. The surface intervals (∼0-10 mm) of the sedimentary records collected in December 2010 at DSH08 and February 2011 at PCB06 were characterized by significant decreases in foraminiferal density, S, E, and H, relative to the down-core intervals as well as previous surveys. Non-metric multidimensional scaling (nMDS) analysis suggested that a 3-fold increase in polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) concentration in the surface interval, relative to the down-core interval, was the environmental driver of benthic foraminiferal variability. These records suggested that the benthic foraminiferal recovery time, following an event such as the DWH, was on the order of 1-2 years.

  1. Multiscale plume modeling of the Deepwater Horizon oil-well blowout for environmental impact assessment and mitigation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Socolofsky, S. A.; Rezvani, M.

    2010-12-01

    The accidental blowout plume of the Deepwater Horizon (DH) oil well is an unprecedented event that will have far-reaching environmental, economic, and societal impact. The subsurface structure of the blowout plume, including its layered system of intrusions, conforms qualitatively to that predicted in the literature; however, new modeling tools are currently needed to produce highly-resolved predictions of such a complex plume in the stratified and flowing ocean. We present laboratory experiments of multiphase plumes in stratification and crossflow to understand the physical mechanisms that lead to separation among the buoyant dispersed phases (oil and gas) and the entrained and dissolved constituents in the continuous phase. Scale analysis indicates that the DH plume is stratification dominated, and observed locations of hydrocarbon intrusion layers agree well with the experimentally derived empirical scaling laws. New flow visualization measurements in gas plumes in stratification demonstrate that unsteady plume oscillation and detrainment events result from regular shedding of coherent structures on the order of the plume width and are not directly related to the stratification frequency. Similar particle image velocimetry (PIV) measurements in weak crossflows characterize the transport mechanisms in the plume wake. The results of these experiments will be used in the context of a National Science Foundation RAPID grant to validate a nested large eddy simulations (LES) / Reynolds averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) model of the DH plume, and early results from this model demonstrate its feasibility to capture the unsteady and complex structure of the plume evolution.

  2. Population Dynamics and Community Composition of Ammonia Oxidizers in Salt Marshes after the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bernhard, Anne E; Sheffer, Roberta; Giblin, Anne E; Marton, John M; Roberts, Brian J

    2016-01-01

    The recent oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico had significant effects on microbial communities in the Gulf, but impacts on nitrifying communities in adjacent salt marshes have not been investigated. We studied persistent effects of oil on ammonia-oxidizing archaeal (AOA) and bacterial (AOB) communities and their relationship to nitrification rates and soil properties in Louisiana marshes impacted by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Soils were collected at oiled and unoiled sites from Louisiana coastal marshes in July 2012, 2 years after the spill, and analyzed for community differences based on ammonia monooxygenase genes (amoA). Terminal Restriction Fragment Polymorphism and DNA sequence analyses revealed significantly different AOA and AOB communities between the three regions, but few differences were found between oiled and unoiled sites. Community composition of nitrifiers was best explained by differences in soil moisture and nitrogen content. Despite the lack of significant oil effects on overall community composition, we identified differences in correlations of individual populations with potential nitrification rates between oiled and unoiled sites that help explain previously published correlation patterns. Our results suggest that exposure to oil, even 2 years post-spill, led to subtle changes in population dynamics. How, or if, these changes may impact ecosystem function in the marshes, however, remains uncertain.

  3. Weathering of field-collected floating and stranded Macondo oils during and shortly after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stout, Scott A; Payne, James R; Emsbo-Mattingly, Stephen D; Baker, Gregory

    2016-04-15

    Chemical analysis of large populations of floating (n=62) and stranded (n=1174) Macondo oils collected from the northern Gulf of Mexico sea surface and shorelines during or within seven weeks of the end of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill demonstrates the range, rates, and processes affecting surface oil weathering. Oil collected immediately upon reaching the sea surface had already lost most mass below n-C8 from dissolution of soluble aliphatics, monoaromatics, and naphthalenes during the oil's ascent with further reductions extending up to n-C13 due to the onset of evaporation. With additional time, weathering of the floating and stranded oils advanced with total PAH (TPAH50) depletions averaging 69±23% for floating oils and 94±3% for stranded oils caused by the combined effects of evaporation, dissolution, and photo-oxidation, the latter of which also reduced triaromatic steroid biomarkers. Biodegradation was not evident among the coalesced floating oils studied, but had commenced in some stranded oils.

  4. Marsh Loss Due to Cumulative Impacts of Hurricane Isaac and the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill in Louisiana

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shruti Khanna

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available Coastal ecosystems are greatly endangered due to anthropogenic development and climate change. Multiple disturbances may erode the ability of a system to recover from stress if there is little time between disturbance events. We evaluated the ability of the saltmarshes in Barataria Bay, Louisiana, USA, to recover from two successive disturbances, the DeepWater Horizon oil spill in 2010 and Hurricane Isaac in 2012. We measured recovery using vegetation indices and land cover change metrics. We found that after the hurricane, land loss along oiled shorelines was 17.8%, while along oil-free shorelines, it was 13.6% within the first 7 m. At a distance of 7–14 m, land loss from oiled regions was 11.6%, but only 6.3% in oil-free regions. We found no differences in vulnerability to land loss between narrow and wide shorelines; however, vegetation in narrow sites was significantly more stressed, potentially leading to future land loss. Treated oiled regions also lost more land due to the hurricane than untreated regions. These results suggest that ecosystem recovery after the two disturbances is compromised, as the observed high rates of land loss may prevent salt marsh from establishing in the same areas where it existed prior to the oil spill.

  5. Scientific basis for safely shutting in the Macondo Well after the April 20, 2010 Deepwater Horizon blowout.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hickman, Stephen H; Hsieh, Paul A; Mooney, Walter D; Enomoto, Catherine B; Nelson, Philip H; Mayer, Larry A; Weber, Thomas C; Moran, Kathryn; Flemings, Peter B; McNutt, Marcia K

    2012-12-11

    As part of the government response to the Deepwater Horizon blowout, a Well Integrity Team evaluated the geologic hazards of shutting in the Macondo Well at the seafloor and determined the conditions under which it could safely be undertaken. Of particular concern was the possibility that, under the anticipated high shut-in pressures, oil could leak out of the well casing below the seafloor. Such a leak could lead to new geologic pathways for hydrocarbon release to the Gulf of Mexico. Evaluating this hazard required analyses of 2D and 3D seismic surveys, seafloor bathymetry, sediment properties, geophysical well logs, and drilling data to assess the geological, hydrological, and geomechanical conditions around the Macondo Well. After the well was successfully capped and shut in on July 15, 2010, a variety of monitoring activities were used to assess subsurface well integrity. These activities included acquisition of wellhead pressure data, marine multichannel seismic profiles, seafloor and water-column sonar surveys, and wellhead visual/acoustic monitoring. These data showed that the Macondo Well was not leaking after shut in, and therefore, it could remain safely shut until reservoir pressures were suppressed (killed) with heavy drilling mud and the well was sealed with cement.

  6. Geospatial estimation of the impact of Deepwater Horizon oil spill on plant oiling along the Louisiana shorelines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goovaerts, Pierre; Wobus, Cameron; Jones, Russell; Rissing, Matthew

    2016-09-15

    Stranded oil covering soil and plant stems in fragile Louisiana marshes was one of the most visible impacts of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill. As part of the assessment of marsh injury after the DWH spill, plant stem oiling was broken into five categories (0%, 0-10%, 10-50%, 50-90%, 90-100%) and used as the independent variable for estimating death of vegetation, accelerated erosion, and other metrics of injury. The length of shoreline falling into each of these stem oiling categories was therefore a key measure of the total extent of marsh injury, and its accurate estimation is the focus of this paper. First, we used geographically-weighted logistic regression (GWR) to explore and model spatially varying relationships between stem oiling field data and secondary information (oiling exposure category) collected during shoreline surveys. We then combined GWR probability estimates with field data using indicator cokriging to predict the probability of exceeding four stem oiling thresholds (0, 10, 50, and 90%) at 50 m intervals along the Louisiana shoreline. Cross-validation using Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) Curves demonstrate the greater prediction accuracy of the multivariate geostatistical approach relative to either aspatial regression or indicator kriging that ignores secondary information.

  7. Lethal and sub-lethal effects of Deepwater Horizon slick oil and dispersant on oyster (Crassostrea virginica) larvae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vignier, J; Soudant, P; Chu, F L E; Morris, J M; Carney, M W; Lay, C R; Krasnec, M O; Robert, R; Volety, A K

    2016-09-01

    In April 2010, crude oil was spilled from the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil platform for 87 days, coincident with the spawning season and recruitment of the oyster, Crassostrea virginica, in the Gulf of Mexico. Impacts of acute exposures to surface-collected DWH oil (HEWAF), dispersed oil (CEWAF) and dispersant alone (Corexit 9500A(®)) on planktonic larval stages of C. virginica (veliger, umbo and pediveliger) were tested in the laboratory. Exposures to HEWAF, CEWAF and dispersant were toxic to larvae impairing growth, settlement success and ultimately survival. Larval growth and settlement were reduced at concentrations of tPAH50 ranging from 1.7 to 106 μg L(-1) for HEWAF and 1.1-35 μg L(-1) for CEWAF, concentrations well within the range of water sampled during the DWH oil spill. Sublethal effects induced by oil and dispersant could have significant ecological implications on oyster populations and on the whole estuarine ecosystem.

  8. Shifts in Symbiotic Endophyte Communities of a Foundational Salt Marsh Grass following Oil Exposure from the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Demetra Kandalepas

    Full Text Available Symbiotic associations can be disrupted by disturbance or by changing environmental conditions. Endophytes are fungal and bacterial symbionts of plants that can affect performance. As in more widely known symbioses, acute or chronic stressor exposure might trigger disassociation of endophytes from host plants. We tested this hypothesis by examining the effects of oil exposure following the Deepwater Horizon (DWH oil spill on endophyte diversity and abundance in Spartina alterniflora - the foundational plant in northern Gulf coast salt marshes affected by the spill. We compared bacterial and fungal endophytes isolated from plants in reference areas to isolates from plants collected in areas with residual oil that has persisted for more than three years after the DWH spill. DNA sequence-based estimates showed that oil exposure shifted endophyte diversity and community structure. Plants from oiled areas exhibited near total loss of leaf fungal endophytes. Root fungal endophytes exhibited a more modest decline and little change was observed in endophytic bacterial diversity or abundance, though a shift towards hydrocarbon metabolizers was found in plants from oiled sites. These results show that plant-endophyte symbioses can be disrupted by stressor exposure, and indicate that symbiont community disassembly in marsh plants is an enduring outcome of the DWH spill.

  9. A tale of two recent spills--comparison of 2014 Galveston Bay and 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill residues.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fang Yin

    Full Text Available Managing oil spill residues washing onto sandy beaches is a common worldwide environmental problem. In this study, we have analyzed the first-arrival oil spill residues collected from two Gulf of Mexico (GOM beach systems following two recent oil spills: the 2014 Galveston Bay (GB oil spill, and the 2010 Deepwater Horizon (DWH oil spill. This is the first study to provide field observations and chemical characterization data for the 2014 GB oil spill. Here we compare the physical and chemical characteristics of GB oil spill samples with DWH oil spill samples and present their similarities and differences. Our field observations indicate that both oil spills had similar shoreline deposition patterns; however, their physical and chemical characteristics differed considerably. We highlight these differences, discuss their implications, and interpret GB data in light of lessons learned from previously published DWH oil spill studies. These analyses are further used to assess the long-term fate of GB oil spill residues and their potential environmental impacts.

  10. Environmental effects of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill: focus on effects on fish and effects of dispersants

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Trannum, H.; Bakke, T.

    2012-07-01

    NIVA has conducted a literature study on environmental effects of the Deepwater Horizon accident for the Norwegian Oil Industry Association, and the present report summarizes this work with particular focus on fish and dispersants. The report also briefly discusses relevance for Norwegian waters. In the literature, negative effects on the population level of fish have not been reported, although there is evidence of effects on the cellular level of fish. Several exploited species were even characterized by notably higher catch rates during 2010. Despite this, the economic losses for the fishing industry were huge due to an extensive closure of fisheries and effects in the marked. Following the oil spill, large amounts of dispersants were used, mainly Corexit, and for the first time, the dispersants were added under the sea surface. It is not clear whether the dispersants were successful in reducing the overall impacts of the oil. Furthermore, there are indications that the dispersants had the potential to inhibit the natural degradation of oil. Although the use of Corexit was criticized, laboratory studies have shown that Corexit generally tends to be less toxic than several other dispersants. (Author)

  11. Dietary intake of Deepwater Horizon oil-injected live food fish by double-crested cormorants resulted in oxidative stress.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pritsos, Karen L; Perez, Cristina R; Muthumalage, Thivanka; Dean, Karen M; Cacela, Dave; Hanson-Dorr, Katie; Cunningham, Fred; Bursian, Steven J; Link, Jane E; Shriner, Susan; Horak, Katherine; Pritsos, Chris A

    2017-07-05

    The Deepwater Horizon oil spill released 134 million gallons of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico making it the largest oil spill in US history and exposing fish, birds, and marine mammals throughout the Gulf of Mexico to its toxicity. Fish eating waterbirds such as the double-crested cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus) were exposed to the oil both by direct contact with the oil and orally through preening and the ingestion of contaminated fish. This study investigated the effects of orally ingestedMC252 oil-contaminated live fish food by double-crested cormorants on oxidative stress. Total, reduced, and oxidized glutathione levels, superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase activities, total antioxidant capacity and lipid peroxidation were assessed in the liver tissues of control and treated cormorants. The results suggest that ingestion of the oil-contaminated fish resulted in significant increase in oxidative stress in the liver tissues of these birds. The oil-induced increase in oxidative stress could have detrimental impacts on the bird's life-history. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Influence of Chemical Composition on Microbial Communities in Deep Water Plumes After the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

    Science.gov (United States)

    Redmond, M. C.; Valentine, D. L.

    2012-12-01

    After the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, large amounts of natural gas and oil remained dissolved or suspended in the deep Gulf of Mexico. These deep water plumes were preferentially enriched in soluble hydrocarbons, including methane, ethane, propane, cyclohexane, benzene, toluene, and xylenes. Microbial communities responded rapidly to the influx of hydrocarbons, and were initially dominated by a novel group of Oceanospirillales. As the summer progressed, Colwellia and Cycloclasticus became more abundant, followed by an increase in methanotrophs and methylotrophs. DNA stable isotope probing experiments showed that Colwellia spp. were the primary bacteria assimilating carbon from ethane and propane, suggesting that the presence of natural gas had a significant effect on the microbes that responded to the spill. Additional incubation experiments suggested that Colwellia could also consume benzene and other hydrocarbons in crude oil, but it was unclear whether the presence of natural gas stimulated or inhibited the consumption of other hydrocarbons. In order to determine the effect of natural gas on microbial community composition and the degradation of petroleum hydrocarbons, we conducted a series of incubation experiments with seawater from the deep Gulf of Mexico. We also conducted experiments to determine the effect of individual hydrocarbon compounds on the microbial community response. We will present results from both sets of experiments.

  13. Quantifying overlap between the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and predicted bluefin tuna spawning habitat in the Gulf of Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hazen, Elliott L.; Carlisle, Aaron B.; Wilson, Steven G.; Ganong, James E.; Castleton, Michael R.; Schallert, Robert J.; Stokesbury, Michael J. W.; Bograd, Steven J.; Block, Barbara A.

    2016-09-01

    Atlantic bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus) are distributed throughout the North Atlantic and are both economically valuable and heavily exploited. The fishery is currently managed as two spawning populations, with the GOM population being severely depleted for over 20 years. In April-August of 2010, the Deepwater Horizon oil spill released approximately 4 million barrels of oil into the GOM, with severe ecosystem and economic impacts. Acute oil exposure results in mortality of bluefin eggs and larvae, while chronic effects on spawning adults are less well understood. Here we used 16 years of electronic tagging data for 66 bluefin tuna to identify spawning events, to quantify habitat preferences, and to predict habitat use and oil exposure within Gulf of Mexico spawning grounds. More than 54,000 km2 (5%) of predicted spawning habitat within the US EEZ was oiled during the week of peak oil dispersal, with potentially lethal effects on eggs and larvae. Although the oil spill overlapped with a relatively small portion of predicted spawning habitat, the cumulative impact from oil, ocean warming and bycatch mortality on GOM spawning grounds may result in significant effects for a population that shows little evidence of rebuilding.

  14. Quantifying overlap between the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and predicted bluefin tuna spawning habitat in the Gulf of Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hazen, Elliott L; Carlisle, Aaron B; Wilson, Steven G; Ganong, James E; Castleton, Michael R; Schallert, Robert J; Stokesbury, Michael J W; Bograd, Steven J; Block, Barbara A

    2016-09-22

    Atlantic bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus) are distributed throughout the North Atlantic and are both economically valuable and heavily exploited. The fishery is currently managed as two spawning populations, with the GOM population being severely depleted for over 20 years. In April-August of 2010, the Deepwater Horizon oil spill released approximately 4 million barrels of oil into the GOM, with severe ecosystem and economic impacts. Acute oil exposure results in mortality of bluefin eggs and larvae, while chronic effects on spawning adults are less well understood. Here we used 16 years of electronic tagging data for 66 bluefin tuna to identify spawning events, to quantify habitat preferences, and to predict habitat use and oil exposure within Gulf of Mexico spawning grounds. More than 54,000 km(2) (5%) of predicted spawning habitat within the US EEZ was oiled during the week of peak oil dispersal, with potentially lethal effects on eggs and larvae. Although the oil spill overlapped with a relatively small portion of predicted spawning habitat, the cumulative impact from oil, ocean warming and bycatch mortality on GOM spawning grounds may result in significant effects for a population that shows little evidence of rebuilding.

  15. Behavioral health in the gulf coast region following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill: findings from two federal surveys.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gould, Deborah W; Teich, Judith L; Pemberton, Michael R; Pierannunzi, Carol; Larson, Sharon

    2015-01-01

    This article summarizes findings from two large-scale, population-based surveys conducted by Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the Gulf Coast region following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, to measure the prevalence of mental and substance use disorders, chronic health conditions, and utilization of behavioral health services. Although many area residents undoubtedly experienced increased levels of anxiety and stress following the spill, findings suggest only modest or minimal changes in behavioral health at the aggregate level before and after the spill. The studies do not address potential long-term effects of the spill on physical and behavioral health nor did they target subpopulations that might have been most affected by the spill. Resources mobilized to reduce the economic and behavioral health impacts of the spill on coastal residents-including compensation for lost income from BP and increases in available mental health services-may have resulted in a reduction in potential mental health problems.

  16. Confronting Space Debris: Strategies and Warnings from Comparable Examples Including Deepwater Horizon

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    Technology Developed,” United Press International, November 14, 2006. Mascari, Christopher, “OSP Robot Is Human Sized Roomba For Oil Spills,” Gizmodo...2008. As of April 30, 2010: http://gizmodo.com/363718/osp-robot-is-human-sized- roomba -for-oil-spills United States Environmental Protection Agency

  17. Tracking responses to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill using trace elements in molluscan shells and tissues

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roopnarine, P. D.; Anderson, L.; Roopnarine, D.; Gillikin, D. P.; Goodwin, D.

    2010-12-01

    Documenting the effects of modern stressors on coastal benthic marine communities requires a combination of baseline historical data and modern dynamic data. E.g., landfall of hydrocarbons from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon rig and well explosion in the Gulf of Mexico is impacting coastal areas long affected by natural seepage, as well as petroleum exploration and development. In Louisiana, exploration in coastal areas that began in the 1920s expanded greatly with the development of the first mobile drilling barge in 1933. In total nearly 50,000 wells have been drilled in the Gulf of Mexico since the 1930s. Given this historical context, we are assessing pathways and rates at which crude oil components from the 2010 spill are incorporated into northern Gulf of Mexico coastal food webs. Sclerochronological techniques are being used to unlock the high-resolution physical and chemical records preserved within mollusc shells. We are analyzing historical specimens collected from the late 19th through late 20th centuries, baseline specimens collected in May 2010 in Louisiana and Alabama before visible hydrocarbons were present, and specimens collected in August 2010 after hydrocarbons made landfall. We are examining changes in life history traits (growth rate, recruitment, mortality, reproduction) of the commercial oyster Crassostrea virginica, and other common, co-occurring molluscs that are primary and secondary consumers in Gulf of Mexico coastal food webs. The taxa include the marsh-dwelling gastropod Littoraria irrorata and mussel Geukensia demissa, and open-water species including the bivalves Ischadium recurvum and Tellina alternata. These consumers range from epifaunal, sessile, filter feeders; to infaunal, mobile, deposit feeders; to epifaunal, mobile, omnivorous grazers. In this way, multiple potential pathways into coastal food webs are being monitored. Because environmental perturbations of many scales are recorded by the accretionary growth of mollusc shells

  18. Single-cell genomics reveals features of a Colwellia species that was dominant during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Olivia eMason

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available During the Deepwater Horizon (DWH oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico a deep-sea hydrocarbon plume developed resulting in a rapid succession of bacteria. Colwellia eventually supplanted Oceanospirillales, which dominated the plume early in the spill. These successional changes may have resulted, in part, from the changing composition and abundance of hydrocarbons over time. Colwellia abundance peaked when gaseous and simple aromatic hydrocarbons increased, yet the metabolic pathway used by Colwellia in hydrocarbon disposition is unknown. Here we used single-cell genomics to gain insights into the genome properties of a Colwellia enriched during the DWH deep-sea plume. A single amplified genome (SAG of a Colwellia cell isolated from a DWH plume, closely related (avg. 98% 16S rRNA gene similarity to other plume Colwellia, was sequenced and annotated. The SAG was similar to the sequenced isolate Colwellia psychrerythraea 34H (84% avg. nucleotide identity. Both had genes for denitrification, chemotaxis and motility, adaptations to cold environments, and a suite of nutrient acquisition genes. The Colwellia SAG may be capable of gaseous and aromatic hydrocarbon degradation, which contrasts with a DWH plume Oceanospirillales SAG genome which encoded non-gaseous n-alkane and cycloalkane degradation. The disparate hydrocarbon degradation pathways are consistent with hydrocarbons that were abundant at different times in the deep-sea plume; first, non-gaseous n-alkanes and cycloalkanes that could be degraded by Oceanospirillales, followed by gaseous, and simple aromatic hydrocarbons that may have been degraded by Colwellia. These insights into the genomic properties of a Colwellia species, which were supported by existing metagenomic sequence data from the plume and DWH contaminated sediments, help further our understanding of the successional changes in the dominant microbial players in the plume over the course of the DWH spill.

  19. Comprehensive framework for ecological assessment of the Migratory Bird Habitat Initiative following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, J. Brian; Webb, Elisabeth B.; Kaminski, Richard M.; Barbour, Philip J.; Vilella, Francisco

    2014-01-01

    Following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in April 2010, the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) established and funded the Migratory Bird Habitat Initiative (MBHI), with the goal of improving and increasing wetland habitats on private lands to benefit wintering and migrating waterbirds displaced from oil-impacted coastal wetlands. The NRCS and conservation partners provided financial and technical assistance to landowners and managers of sites enrolled in various conservation easement programs, and incorporated approximately 190,000 ha of wetlands and agricultural lands in the Mississippi Alluvial Valley (MAV) and Gulf Coast regions in the MBHI. In fall 2010, the NRCS worked with scientists and graduate students from three universities and various conservation agencies to design and implement landscape-scale evaluations of (1) the use of MBHI-managed wetlands and comparable non-MBHI wetlands by Charadriiformes(shorebirds), Anseriformes (waterfowl), and other waterbirds; and (2) the relative effectiveness of different MBHI practices for providing habitat and food resources for migrating, resident, and wintering waterbirds. In this paper, we describe the scientific framework designed to evaluate the MBHI in improving waterbird habitats on private lands in the MAV, the Gulf Coast Prairies in Louisiana and Texas, and Gulf coastal wetlands of Mississippi and Alabama. The results of our evaluation will enhance our understanding of the influence of MBHI, other Farm Bill Conservation Initiative managed lands (e.g., Wetland Reserve Program), and selected agricultural working lands (e.g., Oryza sativa L. [Rice] fields in southern Louisiana and Texas) on wintering and migrating waterbirds. A proactive approach that uses science to evaluate governmental conservation programs is relevant and can inform development of meaningful public policy that likely will be needed for effective delivery of future conservation programs and to justify

  20. Weathering patterns of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons contained in submerged Deepwater Horizon oil spill residues when re-exposed to sunlight.

    Science.gov (United States)

    John, Gerald F; Han, Yuling; Clement, T Prabhakar

    2016-12-15

    The Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill event released a large amount of sweet crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico (GOM). An unknown portion of this oil that arrived along the Alabama shoreline interacted with nearshore sediments and sank forming submerged oil mats (SOMs). A considerable amount of hydrocarbons, including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), were trapped within these buried SOMs. Recent studies completed using the oil spill residues collected along the Alabama shoreline have shown that several PAHs, especially higher molecular weight PAHs (four or more aromatic rings), are slowly weathering compared to the weathering levels experienced by the oil when it was floating over the GOM. In this study we have hypothesized that the weathering rates of PAHs in SOMs have slowed down because the buried oil was isolated from direct exposure to sunlight, thus hindering the photodegradation pathway. We further hypothesized that re-exposing SOMs to sunlight can reactivate various weathering reactions. Also, SOMs contain 75-95% sand (by weight) and the entrapped sand could either block direct sunlight or form large oil agglomerates with very little exposed surface area; these processes could possibly interfere with weathering reactions. To test these hypotheses, we completed controlled experiments to study the weathering patterns of PAHs in a field recovered SOM sample after re-exposing it to sunlight. Our experimental results show that the weathering levels of several higher molecular weight PAHs have slowed down primarily due to the absence of sunlight-induced photodegradation reactions. The data also show that sand particles in SOM material could potentially interfere with photodegradation reactions.

  1. A Survey of Deepwater Horizon (DWH Oil-Degrading Bacteria from the Eastern Oyster Biome and its Surrounding Environment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jesse eThomas

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available The Deepwater Horizon (DWH accident led to the release of an estimated 794,936,474 liters of crude oil into the northern Gulf of Mexico over an 85 day period in 2010, resulting in the contamination of the Gulf of Mexico waters, sediments, permeable beach sands, coastal wetlands and marine life. This study examines the potential response of the Eastern oyster’s microbiome to hydrocarbon contamination and compares it with the bacterial community responses observed from the overlaying water column and the oyster bed sediments. For this purpose, microcosms seeded with DWH crude oil were established and inoculated separately with oyster tissue (OT, mantle fluid (MF, overlaying water column (WC and sediments (S collected from Apalachicola Bay, FL. Shifts in the microbial community structure in the amended microcosms was monitored over a 3-month period using automated ribosomal intergenic spacer region analysis (ARISA, which showed that the microbiome of the oyster tissue and mantle fluid were more similar to the sediment communities than those present in the overlaying water column. This pattern remained largely consistent, regardless of the concentration of crude oil or the enrichment period. Additionally, 72 oil-degrading bacteria were isolated from the microcosms containing OT, MF, WC and S and identified using 16S ribosomal RNA (rRNA gene sequencing and compared by principal component analysis (PCA which clearly showed that the water column isolates were different to those identified from the sediment. Conversely, the oyster tissue and mantle fluid isolates clustered together; a strong indication that the oyster microbiome is uniquely structured relative to its surrounding environment. When selected isolates from the OT, MF, WC and S were assessed for their oil-degrading potential, we found that the DWH oil was biodegraded between 12%-42%, under the existing conditions.

  2. Presence of the Corexit component dioctyl sodium sulfosuccinate in Gulf of Mexico waters after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gray, James L.; Kanagy, Leslie K.; Furlong, Edward T.; Kanagy, Chris J.; McCoy, Jeff W.; Mason, Andrew; Lauenstein, Gunnar

    2014-01-01

    Between April 22 and July 15, 2010, approximately 4.9 million barrels of oil were released into the Gulf of Mexico from the Deepwater Horizon oil well. Approximately 16% of the oil was chemically dispersed, at the surface and at 1500 m depth, using Corexit 9527 and Corexit 9500, which contain dioctyl sodium sulfosuccinate (DOSS) as a major surfactant component. This was the largest documented release of oil in history at substantial depth, and the first time large quantities of dispersant (0.77 million gallons of approximately 1.9 million gallons total) were applied to a subsurface oil plume. During two cruises in late May and early June, water samples were collected at the surface and at depth for DOSS analysis. Real-time fluorimetry data was used to infer the presence of oil components to select appropriate sampling depths. Samples were stored frozen and in the dark for approximately 6 months prior to analysis by liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry with isotope-dilution quantification. The blank-limited method detection limit (0.25 μg L−1) was substantially less than the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (USEPA) aquatic life benchmark of 40 μg L−1. Concentrations of DOSS exceeding 200 μg L−1 were observed in one surface sample near the well site; in subsurface samples DOSS did not exceed 40 μg L−1. Although DOSS was present at high concentration in the immediate vicinity of the well where it was being continuously applied, a combination of biodegradation, photolysis, and dilution likely reduced persistence at concentrations exceeding the USEPA aquatic life benchmark beyond this immediate area.

  3. Composition and depth distribution of hydrocarbons in Barataria Bay marsh sediments after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dincer Kırman, Zeynep; Sericano, José L; Wade, Terry L; Bianchi, Thomas S; Marcantonio, Franco; Kolker, Alexander S

    2016-07-01

    In 2010, an estimate 4.1 million barrels of oil were accidentally released into the Gulf of Mexico (GoM) during the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) Oil Spill. One and a half years after this incident, a set of subtidal and intertidal marsh sediment cores were collected from five stations in Barataria Bay, Louisiana, USA, and analyzed to determine the spatial and vertical distributions and source of hydrocarbon residues based on their chemical composition. An archived core, collected before the DWH oil spill from the same area, was also analyzed to assess the pre-spill hydrocarbon distribution in the area. Analyses of aliphatic hydrocarbons, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and stable carbon isotope showed that the distribution of petroleum hydrocarbons in Barataria Bay was patchy and limited in areal extent. Significant TPH and ΣPAH concentrations (77,399 μg/g and 219,065 ng/g, respectively) were detected in the surface sediments of one core (i.e., core A) to a depth of 9 cm. Based on a sedimentation rate of 0.39 cm yr(-1), determined using (137)Cs, the presence of anthropogenic hydrocarbons in these sediment core deposited ca. 50 to 60 years ago. The historical background hydrocarbon concentrations increased significantly at the sediment surface and can be attributed to recent inputs. Although the oil present in the bay's sediments has undergone moderate weathering, biomarker analyses performed on core A samples likely indicated the presence of hydrocarbons from the DWH oil spill. The effects of oiling events on Barataria Bay and other marsh ecosystems in this region remain uncertain, as oil undergoes weathering changes over time.

  4. Microbial activities and dissolved organic matter dynamics in oil-contaminated surface seawater from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill site.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kai Ziervogel

    Full Text Available The Deepwater Horizon oil spill triggered a complex cascade of microbial responses that reshaped the dynamics of heterotrophic carbon degradation and the turnover of dissolved organic carbon (DOC in oil contaminated waters. Our results from 21-day laboratory incubations in rotating glass bottles (roller bottles demonstrate that microbial dynamics and carbon flux in oil-contaminated surface water sampled near the spill site two weeks after the onset of the blowout were greatly affected by activities of microbes associated with macroscopic oil aggregates. Roller bottles with oil-amended water showed rapid formation of oil aggregates that were similar in size and appearance compared to oil aggregates observed in surface waters near the spill site. Oil aggregates that formed in roller bottles were densely colonized by heterotrophic bacteria, exhibiting high rates of enzymatic activity (lipase hydrolysis indicative of oil degradation. Ambient waters surrounding aggregates also showed enhanced microbial activities not directly associated with primary oil-degradation (β-glucosidase; peptidase, as well as a twofold increase in DOC. Concurrent changes in fluorescence properties of colored dissolved organic matter (CDOM suggest an increase in oil-derived, aromatic hydrocarbons in the DOC pool. Thus our data indicate that oil aggregates mediate, by two distinct mechanisms, the transfer of hydrocarbons to the deep sea: a microbially-derived flux of oil-derived DOC from sinking oil aggregates into the ambient water column, and rapid sedimentation of the oil aggregates themselves, serving as vehicles for oily particulate matter as well as oil aggregate-associated microbial communities.

  5. The polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon degradation potential of Gulf of Mexico coastal microbial communities after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anthony D. Kappell

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available The Deepwater Horizon (DWH blowout resulted in oil transport, including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs to the Gulf of Mexico shoreline. The microbial communities of these shorelines are thought to be responsible for the intrinsic degradation of PAHs. To investigate the Gulf Coast beach microbial community response to hydrocarbon exposure, we examined the functional gene diversity, bacterial community composition, and PAH degradation capacity of a heavily oiled and non-oiled beach following the oil exposure. With a non-expression functional gene microarray targeting 539 gene families, we detected 28,748 coding sequences. Of these sequences, 10% were uniquely associated with the severely oil-contaminated beach and 6.0% with the non-oiled beach. There was little variation in the functional genes detected between the two beaches; however the relative abundance of functional genes involved in oil degradation pathways, including PAHs, were greater in the oiled beach. The microbial PAH degradation potentials of both beaches, were tested in mesocosms. Mesocosms were constructed in glass columns using sands with native microbial communities, circulated with artificial sea water and challenged with a mixture of PAHs. The low-molecular weight PAHs, fluorene and naphthalene, showed rapid depletion in all mesocosms while the high-molecular weight benzo[α]pyrene was not degraded by either microbial community. Both the heavily oiled and the non-impacted coastal communities showed little variation in their biodegradation ability for low molecular weight PAHs. Massively-parallel sequencing of 16S rRNA genes from mesocosm DNA showed that known PAH degraders and genera frequently associated with oil hydrocarbon degradation represented a major portion of the bacterial community. The observed similar response by microbial communities from beaches with a different recent history of oil exposure suggests that Gulf Coast beach communities are primed for PAH

  6. Heavily Oiled Salt Marsh following the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, Ecological Comparisons of Shoreline Cleanup Treatments and Recovery.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Scott Zengel

    Full Text Available The Deepwater Horizon oil spill affected hundreds of kilometers of coastal wetland shorelines, including salt marshes with persistent heavy oiling that required intensive shoreline "cleanup" treatment. Oiled marsh treatment involves a delicate balance among: removing oil, speeding the degradation of remaining oil, protecting wildlife, fostering habitat recovery, and not causing further ecological damage with treatment. To examine the effectiveness and ecological effects of treatment during the emergency response, oiling characteristics and ecological parameters were compared over two years among heavily oiled test plots subject to: manual treatment, mechanical treatment, natural recovery (no treatment, oiled control, as well as adjacent reference conditions. An additional experiment compared areas with and without vegetation planting following treatment. Negative effects of persistent heavy oiling on marsh vegetation, intertidal invertebrates, and shoreline erosion were observed. In areas without treatment, oiling conditions and negative effects for most marsh parameters did not considerably improve over two years. Both manual and mechanical treatment were effective at improving oiling conditions and vegetation characteristics, beginning the recovery process, though recovery was not complete by two years. Mechanical treatment had additional negative effects of mixing oil into the marsh soils and further accelerating erosion. Manual treatment appeared to strike the right balance between improving oiling and habitat conditions while not causing additional detrimental effects. However, even with these improvements, marsh periwinkle snails showed minimal signs of recovery through two years, suggesting that some ecosystem components may lag vegetation recovery. Planting following treatment quickened vegetation recovery and reduced shoreline erosion. Faced with comparable marsh oiling in the future, we would recommend manual treatment followed by

  7. Hydrocarbons in Deep-Sea Sediments following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon Blowout in the Northeast Gulf of Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Romero, Isabel C; Schwing, Patrick T; Brooks, Gregg R; Larson, Rebekka A; Hastings, David W; Ellis, Greg; Goddard, Ethan A; Hollander, David J

    2015-01-01

    The Deepwater Horizon (DWH) spill released 4.9 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico (GoM) over 87 days. Sediment and water sampling efforts were concentrated SW of the DWH and in coastal areas. Here we present geochemistry data from sediment cores collected in the aftermath of the DWH event from 1000-1500 m water depth in the DeSoto Canyon, NE of the DWH wellhead. Cores were analyzed at high-resolution (at 2 mm and 5 mm intervals) in order to evaluate the concentration, composition and input of hydrocarbons to the seafloor. Specifically, we analyzed total organic carbon (TOC), aliphatic, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAHs), and biomarker (hopanes, steranes, diasteranes) compounds to elucidate possible sources and transport pathways for deposition of hydrocarbons. Results showed higher hydrocarbon concentrations during 2010-2011 compared to years prior to 2010. Hydrocarbon inputs in 2010-2011 were composed of a mixture of sources including terrestrial, planktonic, and weathered oil. Our results suggest that after the DWH event, both soluble and highly insoluble hydrocarbons were deposited at enhanced rates in the deep-sea. We proposed two distinct transport pathways of hydrocarbon deposition: 1) sinking of oil-particle aggregates (hydrocarbon-contaminated marine snow and/or suspended particulate material), and 2) advective transport and direct contact of the deep plume with the continental slope surface sediments between 1000-1200 m. Our findings underline the complexity of the depositional event observed in the aftermath of the DWH event in terms of multiple sources, variable concentrations, and spatial (depth-related) variability in the DeSoto Canyon, NE of the DWH wellhead.

  8. Heavily Oiled Salt Marsh following the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, Ecological Comparisons of Shoreline Cleanup Treatments and Recovery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zengel, Scott; Bernik, Brittany M; Rutherford, Nicolle; Nixon, Zachary; Michel, Jacqueline

    2015-01-01

    The Deepwater Horizon oil spill affected hundreds of kilometers of coastal wetland shorelines, including salt marshes with persistent heavy oiling that required intensive shoreline "cleanup" treatment. Oiled marsh treatment involves a delicate balance among: removing oil, speeding the degradation of remaining oil, protecting wildlife, fostering habitat recovery, and not causing further ecological damage with treatment. To examine the effectiveness and ecological effects of treatment during the emergency response, oiling characteristics and ecological parameters were compared over two years among heavily oiled test plots subject to: manual treatment, mechanical treatment, natural recovery (no treatment, oiled control), as well as adjacent reference conditions. An additional experiment compared areas with and without vegetation planting following treatment. Negative effects of persistent heavy oiling on marsh vegetation, intertidal invertebrates, and shoreline erosion were observed. In areas without treatment, oiling conditions and negative effects for most marsh parameters did not considerably improve over two years. Both manual and mechanical treatment were effective at improving oiling conditions and vegetation characteristics, beginning the recovery process, though recovery was not complete by two years. Mechanical treatment had additional negative effects of mixing oil into the marsh soils and further accelerating erosion. Manual treatment appeared to strike the right balance between improving oiling and habitat conditions while not causing additional detrimental effects. However, even with these improvements, marsh periwinkle snails showed minimal signs of recovery through two years, suggesting that some ecosystem components may lag vegetation recovery. Planting following treatment quickened vegetation recovery and reduced shoreline erosion. Faced with comparable marsh oiling in the future, we would recommend manual treatment followed by planting. We caution

  9. The polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon degradation potential of Gulf of Mexico native coastal microbial communities after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kappell, Anthony D; Wei, Yin; Newton, Ryan J; Van Nostrand, Joy D; Zhou, Jizhong; McLellan, Sandra L; Hristova, Krassimira R

    2014-01-01

    The Deepwater Horizon (DWH) blowout resulted in oil transport, including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) to the Gulf of Mexico shoreline. The microbial communities of these shorelines are thought to be responsible for the intrinsic degradation of PAHs. To investigate the Gulf Coast beach microbial community response to hydrocarbon exposure, we examined the functional gene diversity, bacterial community composition, and PAH degradation capacity of a heavily oiled and non-oiled beach following the oil exposure. With a non-expression functional gene microarray targeting 539 gene families, we detected 28,748 coding sequences. Of these sequences, 10% were uniquely associated with the severely oil-contaminated beach and 6.0% with the non-oiled beach. There was little variation in the functional genes detected between the two beaches; however the relative abundance of functional genes involved in oil degradation pathways, including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), were greater in the oiled beach. The microbial PAH degradation potentials of both beaches, were tested in mesocosms. Mesocosms were constructed in glass columns using sands with native microbial communities, circulated with artificial sea water and challenged with a mixture of PAHs. The low-molecular weight PAHs, fluorene and naphthalene, showed rapid depletion in all mesocosms while the high-molecular weight benzo[α]pyrene was not degraded by either microbial community. Both the heavily oiled and the non-impacted coastal communities showed little variation in their biodegradation ability for low molecular weight PAHs. Massively-parallel sequencing of 16S rRNA genes from mesocosm DNA showed that known PAH degraders and genera frequently associated with oil hydrocarbon degradation represented a major portion of the bacterial community. The observed similar response by microbial communities from beaches with a different recent history of oil exposure suggests that Gulf Coast beach communities are

  10. Presence of the Corexit component dioctyl sodium sulfosuccinate in Gulf of Mexico waters after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gray, James L; Kanagy, Leslie K; Furlong, Edward T; Kanagy, Chris J; McCoy, Jeff W; Mason, Andrew; Lauenstein, Gunnar

    2014-01-01

    Between April 22 and July 15, 2010, approximately 4.9 million barrels of oil were released into the Gulf of Mexico from the Deepwater Horizon oil well. Approximately 16% of the oil was chemically dispersed, at the surface and at 1500 m depth, using Corexit 9527 and Corexit 9500, which contain dioctyl sodium sulfosuccinate (DOSS) as a major surfactant component. This was the largest documented release of oil in history at substantial depth, and the first time large quantities of dispersant (0.77 million gallons of approximately 1.9 million gallons total) were applied to a subsurface oil plume. During two cruises in late May and early June, water samples were collected at the surface and at depth for DOSS analysis. Real-time fluorimetry data was used to infer the presence of oil components to select appropriate sampling depths. Samples were stored frozen and in the dark for approximately 6 months prior to analysis by liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry with isotope-dilution quantification. The blank-limited method detection limit (0.25 μg L(-1)) was substantially less than the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (USEPA) aquatic life benchmark of 40 μg L(-1). Concentrations of DOSS exceeding 200 μg L(-1) were observed in one surface sample near the well site; in subsurface samples DOSS did not exceed 40 μg L(-1). Although DOSS was present at high concentration in the immediate vicinity of the well where it was being continuously applied, a combination of biodegradation, photolysis, and dilution likely reduced persistence at concentrations exceeding the USEPA aquatic life benchmark beyond this immediate area.

  11. Evidence of lasting impact of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on a deep Gulf of Mexico coral community

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pen-Yuan Hsing

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract A coral community 11 km southwest of the site of the Deepwater Horizon blowout at 1,370 m water depth was discovered 3.5 months after the well was capped on 3 November 2010. Gorgonian corals at the site were partially covered by a brown flocculent material (floc that contained hydrocarbons fingerprinted to the oil spill. Here we quantify the visible changes to the corals at this site during five visits over 17 months by digitizing images of individual branches of each colony and categorizing their condition. Most of the floc visible in November 2010 was absent from the corals by the third visit in March 2011, and there was a decrease in the median proportions of the colonies showing obvious signs of impact after the first visit. During our second visit in 2010, about six weeks after the first, we documented the onset of hydroid colonization (a sign of coral deterioration on impacted coral branches that increased over the remainder of the study. Hydroid colonization of impacted portions of coral colonies by the last visit in March 2012 correlated positively with the proportion of the colony covered by floc during the first two visits in late 2010. Similarly, apparent recovery of impacted portions of the coral by March 2012 correlated negatively with the proportion of the coral covered with floc in late 2010. A notable feature of the impact was its patchy nature, both within and among colonies, suggesting that the impacting agent was not homogeneously dispersed during initial contact with the corals. While the median level of obvious visible impact decreased over time, the onset of hydroid colonization and the probability of impacts that were not visually obvious suggest that future visits may reveal additional deterioration in the condition of these normally long-lived corals.

  12. A survey of deepwater horizon (DWH) oil-degrading bacteria from the Eastern oyster biome and its surrounding environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, Jesse C; Wafula, Denis; Chauhan, Ashvini; Green, Stefan J; Gragg, Richard; Jagoe, Charles

    2014-01-01

    The deepwater horizon (DWH) accident led to the release of an estimated 794,936,474 L of crude oil into the northern Gulf of Mexico over an 85 day period in 2010, resulting in the contamination of the Gulf of Mexico waters, sediments, permeable beach sands, coastal wetlands, and marine life. This study examines the potential response of the Eastern oyster's microbiome to hydrocarbon contamination and compares it with the bacterial community responses observed from the overlaying water column (WC) and the oyster bed sediments. For this purpose, microcosms seeded with DWH crude oil were established and inoculated separately with oyster tissue (OT), mantle fluid (MF), overlaying WC, and sediments (S) collected from Apalachicola Bay, FL, USA. Shifts in the microbial community structure in the amended microcosms was monitored over a 3-month period using automated ribosomal intergenic spacer region analysis, which showed that the microbiome of the OT and MF were more similar to the sediment communities than those present in the overlaying WC. This pattern remained largely consistent, regardless of the concentration of crude oil or the enrichment period. Additionally, 72 oil-degrading bacteria were isolated from the microcosms containing OT, MF, WC, and S and identified using 16S ribosomal RNA gene sequencing and compared by principal component analysis, which clearly showed that the WC isolates were different to those identified from the sediment. Conversely, the OT and MF isolates clustered together; a strong indication that the oyster microbiome is uniquely structured relative to its surrounding environment. When selected isolates from the OT, MF, WC, and S were assessed for their oil-degrading potential, we found that the DWH oil was biodegraded between 12 and 42%, under the existing conditions.

  13. Initial evaluations of a Gulf of Mexico/Caribbean ocean forecast system in the context of the Deepwater Horizon disaster

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zaron, Edward D.; Fitzpatrick, Patrick J.; Cross, Scott L.; Harding, John M.; Bub, Frank L.; Wiggert, Jerry D.; Ko, Dong S.; Lau, Yee; Woodard, Katharine; Mooers, Christopher N. K.

    2015-12-01

    In response to the Deepwater Horizon (DwH) oil spill event in 2010, the Naval Oceanographic Office deployed a nowcast-forecast system covering the Gulf of Mexico and adjacent Caribbean Sea that was designated Americas Seas, or AMSEAS, which is documented in this manuscript. The DwH disaster provided a challenge to the application of available ocean-forecast capabilities, and also generated a historically large observational dataset. AMSEAS was evaluated by four complementary efforts, each with somewhat different aims and approaches: a university research consortium within an Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS) testbed; a petroleum industry consortium, the Gulf of Mexico 3-D Operational Ocean Forecast System Pilot Prediction Project (GOMEX-PPP); a British Petroleum (BP) funded project at the Northern Gulf Institute in response to the oil spill; and the Navy itself. Validation metrics are presented in these different projects for water temperature and salinity profiles, sea surface wind, sea surface temperature, sea surface height, and volume transport, for different forecast time scales. The validation found certain geographic and time biases/errors, and small but systematic improvements relative to earlier regional and global modeling efforts. On the basis of these positive AMSEAS validation studies, an oil spill transport simulation was conducted using archived AMSEAS nowcasts to examine transport into the estuaries east of the Mississippi River. This effort captured the influences of Hurricane Alex and a non-tropical cyclone off the Louisiana coast, both of which pushed oil into the western Mississippi Sound, illustrating the importance of the atmospheric influence on oil spills such as DwH.

  14. Hydrocarbons in Deep-Sea Sediments following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon Blowout in the Northeast Gulf of Mexico.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Isabel C Romero

    Full Text Available The Deepwater Horizon (DWH spill released 4.9 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico (GoM over 87 days. Sediment and water sampling efforts were concentrated SW of the DWH and in coastal areas. Here we present geochemistry data from sediment cores collected in the aftermath of the DWH event from 1000-1500 m water depth in the DeSoto Canyon, NE of the DWH wellhead. Cores were analyzed at high-resolution (at 2 mm and 5 mm intervals in order to evaluate the concentration, composition and input of hydrocarbons to the seafloor. Specifically, we analyzed total organic carbon (TOC, aliphatic, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAHs, and biomarker (hopanes, steranes, diasteranes compounds to elucidate possible sources and transport pathways for deposition of hydrocarbons. Results showed higher hydrocarbon concentrations during 2010-2011 compared to years prior to 2010. Hydrocarbon inputs in 2010-2011 were composed of a mixture of sources including terrestrial, planktonic, and weathered oil. Our results suggest that after the DWH event, both soluble and highly insoluble hydrocarbons were deposited at enhanced rates in the deep-sea. We proposed two distinct transport pathways of hydrocarbon deposition: 1 sinking of oil-particle aggregates (hydrocarbon-contaminated marine snow and/or suspended particulate material, and 2 advective transport and direct contact of the deep plume with the continental slope surface sediments between 1000-1200 m. Our findings underline the complexity of the depositional event observed in the aftermath of the DWH event in terms of multiple sources, variable concentrations, and spatial (depth-related variability in the DeSoto Canyon, NE of the DWH wellhead.

  15. Hydrocarbons in Deep-Sea Sediments following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon Blowout in the Northeast Gulf of Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Romero, Isabel C.; Schwing, Patrick T.; Brooks, Gregg R.; Larson, Rebekka A.; Hastings, David W.; Ellis, Greg; Goddard, Ethan A.; Hollander, David J.

    2015-01-01

    The Deepwater Horizon (DWH) spill released 4.9 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico (GoM) over 87 days. Sediment and water sampling efforts were concentrated SW of the DWH and in coastal areas. Here we present geochemistry data from sediment cores collected in the aftermath of the DWH event from 1000 – 1500 m water depth in the DeSoto Canyon, NE of the DWH wellhead. Cores were analyzed at high-resolution (at 2 mm and 5 mm intervals) in order to evaluate the concentration, composition and input of hydrocarbons to the seafloor. Specifically, we analyzed total organic carbon (TOC), aliphatic, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAHs), and biomarker (hopanes, steranes, diasteranes) compounds to elucidate possible sources and transport pathways for deposition of hydrocarbons. Results showed higher hydrocarbon concentrations during 2010-2011 compared to years prior to 2010. Hydrocarbon inputs in 2010-2011 were composed of a mixture of sources including terrestrial, planktonic, and weathered oil. Our results suggest that after the DWH event, both soluble and highly insoluble hydrocarbons were deposited at enhanced rates in the deep-sea. We proposed two distinct transport pathways of hydrocarbon deposition: 1) sinking of oil-particle aggregates (hydrocarbon-contaminated marine snow and/or suspended particulate material), and 2) advective transport and direct contact of the deep plume with the continental slope surface sediments between 1000-1200 m. Our findings underline the complexity of the depositional event observed in the aftermath of the DWH event in terms of multiple sources, variable concentrations, and spatial (depth-related) variability in the DeSoto Canyon, NE of the DWH wellhead. PMID:26020923

  16. Bivariate Left-Censored Bayesian Model for Predicting Exposure: Preliminary Analysis of Worker Exposure during the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Groth, Caroline; Banerjee, Sudipto; Ramachandran, Gurumurthy; Stenzel, Mark R; Sandler, Dale P; Blair, Aaron; Engel, Lawrence S; Kwok, Richard K; Stewart, Patricia A

    2017-01-01

    In April 2010, the Deepwater Horizon oil rig caught fire and exploded, releasing almost 5 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico over the ensuing 3 months. Thousands of oil spill workers participated in the spill response and clean-up efforts. The GuLF STUDY being conducted by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences is an epidemiological study to investigate potential adverse health effects among these oil spill clean-up workers. Many volatile chemicals were released from the oil into the air, including total hydrocarbons (THC), which is a composite of the volatile components of oil including benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, xylene, and hexane (BTEXH). Our goal is to estimate exposure levels to these toxic chemicals for groups of oil spill workers in the study (hereafter called exposure groups, EGs) with likely comparable exposure distributions. A large number of air measurements were collected, but many EGs are characterized by datasets with a large percentage of censored measurements (below the analytic methods' limits of detection) and/or a limited number of measurements. We use THC for which there was less censoring to develop predictive linear models for specific BTEXH air exposures with higher degrees of censoring. We present a novel Bayesian hierarchical linear model that allows us to predict, for different EGs simultaneously, exposure levels of a second chemical while accounting for censoring in both THC and the chemical of interest. We illustrate the methodology by estimating exposure levels for several EGs on the Development Driller III, a rig vessel charged with drilling one of the relief wells. The model provided credible estimates in this example for geometric means, arithmetic means, variances, correlations, and regression coefficients for each group. This approach should be considered when estimating exposures in situations when multiple chemicals are correlated and have varying degrees of censoring.

  17. Acute effects of non-weathered and weathered crude oil and dispersant associated with the Deepwater Horizon incident on the development of marine bivalve and echinoderm larvae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stefansson, Emily S; Langdon, Chris J; Pargee, Suzanne M; Blunt, Susanna M; Gage, Susan J; Stubblefield, William A

    2016-08-01

    Acute toxicity tests (48-96-h duration) were conducted with larvae of 2 echinoderm species (Strongylocentrotus purpuratus and Dendraster excentricus) and 4 bivalve mollusk species (Crassostrea virginica, Crassostrea gigas, Mytilus galloprovincialis, and Mercenaria mercenaria). Developing larvae were exposed to water-accommodated fractions (WAFs) and chemically enhanced water-accommodated fractions (CEWAFs) of fresh and weathered oils collected from the Gulf of Mexico during the Deepwater Horizon incident. The WAFs (oils alone), CEWAFs (oils plus Corexit 9500A dispersant), and WAFs of Corexit alone were prepared using low-energy mixing. The WAFs of weathered oils had no effect on survival and development of echinoderm and bivalve larvae, whereas WAFs of fresh oils showed adverse effects on larval development. Similar toxicities were observed for weathered oil CEWAFs and WAFs prepared with Corexit alone for oyster (C. gigas and C. virginica) larvae, which were the most sensitive of the tested invertebrate species to Corexit. Mean 10% effective concentration values for total polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and dipropylene glycol n-butyl ether (a marker for Corexit) in the present study were higher than all concentrations reported in nearshore field samples collected during and after the Deepwater Horizon incident. The results suggest that water-soluble fractions of weathered oils and Corexit dispersant associated with the Deepwater Horizon incident had limited, if any, acute impacts on nearshore larvae of eastern oysters and clams, as well as other organisms with similar sensitivities to those of test species in the present study; however, exposure to sediments and long-term effects were not evaluated. Environ Toxicol Chem 2016;35:2016-2028. © 2016 SETAC.

  18. Detection of Salt Marsh Vegetation Stress after the Deepwater Horizon BP Oil Spill Along the Shoreline of Gulf of Mexico Using Aviris Hyperspectral Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khanna, S.; Ustin, S.; Hestir, E. L.

    2011-12-01

    Coastal wetlands and aquatic environments are highly productive ecosystems that are rich in biodiversity. They also provide critically important habitat for both aquatic and terrestrial organisms, many of which have significant economic and recreational importance. The United States Gulf of Mexico coastline is riddled with oil wells (~50,000 wells of which ~30,000 are decommissioned or abandoned), that are subject to frequent oil spills. Oil spills have both short-term and long-term detrimental effects on the coastal environment. Brackish and salt marshes are among the most vulnerable of coastal ecosystems to oil spill impacts because oil tends to have a much longer residence time in marches compared to other environments. Remote sensing has been used extensively to directly map the oil and indirectly to detect wetland plant stress in oil spill impact zones. Using AVIRIS hyperspectral data flown over the Deepwater Horizon Gulf Oil Spill in July and September of 2010, we tested if oil had any impact on the health of the wetland plant community. Two difference indices, NDVI and NDI, two angle indices, ANIR and ARed, and two continuum removals over water absorption bands, all showed that oiled shoreline index values were significantly lower than that from unoiled shoreline in September. The impact was significant at least 10-12m inland from the shoreline. In the July dataset, the effect of oil stress was not as pronounced. A comparison of the green vegetation fraction between July and September showed no significant difference indicating that there was no significant loss of wetland area between July and September. This study illustrates the use of hyperspectral remote sensing in detecting ecosystem stress and monitoring recovery after a catastrophic event such as an oil spill.

  19. Polarimetric Retrievals of Surface and Cirrus Clouds Properties in the Region Affected by the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ottaviani, Matteo; Cairns, Brian; Chowdhary, Jacek; Van Diedenhoven, Bastiaan; Knobelspiesse, Kirk; Hostetler, Chris; Ferrare, Rich; Burton, Sharon; Hair, John; Obland, Michael D.; Rogers, Raymond

    2012-01-01

    In 2010, the Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) Research Scanning Polarimeter (RSP) performed several aerial surveys over the region affected by the oil spill caused by the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon offshore platform. The instrument was deployed on the NASA Langley B200 aircraft together with the High Spectral Resolution Lidar (HSRL), which provides information on the distribution of the aerosol layers beneath the aircraft, including an accurate estimate of aerosol optical depth. This work illustrates the merits of polarization measurements in detecting variations of ocean surface properties linked to the presence of an oil slick. In particular, we make use of the degree of linear polarization in the glint region, which is severely affected by variations in the refractive index but insensitive to the waviness of the water surface. Alterations in the surface optical properties are therefore expected to directly affect the polarization response of the RSP channel at 2264 nm, where both molecular and aerosol scattering are negligible and virtually all of the observed signal is generated via Fresnel reflection at the surface. The glint profile at this wavelength is fitted with a model which can optimally estimate refractive index, wind speed and direction, together with aircraft attitude variations affecting the viewing geometry. The retrieved refractive index markedly increases over oil-contaminated waters, while the apparent wind speed is significantly lower than in adjacent uncontaminated areas, suggesting that the slick dampens high-frequency components of the ocean wave spectrum. The constraint on surface reflectance provided by the short-wave infrared channels is a cornerstone of established procedures to retrieve atmospheric aerosol microphysical parameters based on the inversion of the RSP multispectral measurements. This retrieval, which benefits from the ancillary information provided by the HSRL, was in this specific case hampered by

  20. Polarimetric Retrievals of Surface and Aerosol Properties in the Region Affected by the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ottaviani, M.; Cairns, B.; Chowdhary, J.; Knobelspiesse, K. D.; Ferrare, R. A.; Hostetler, C. A.; Hair, J. W.; Rogers, R.; Obland, M. D.; Zhai, P.; Hu, Y.

    2010-12-01

    In July 2010, the Research Scanning Polarimeter (RSP) effectuated two flights in two consecutive days over the region affected by the oil spill of the Deepwater Horizon offshore platform. Integrated on the NASA Langley B-200 aircraft, the instrument is deployed together with the High Spectral Resolution Lidar (HSRL), which provides information on the distribution of the aerosol layers beneath the aircraft including an accurate estimate of aerosol optical depth. We present a sensitivity study to illustrate the merits of polarization measurements in detecting variations of ocean surface properties linked to the presence of an oil slick. In particular, the Degree of Linear Polarization (DoLP) in the glint region does not depend on the surface roughness, while is severely affected by variations in the refractive index of the ocean surface. Exploiting the RSP channel at 2250nm, where virtually all the signal is generated by the Fresnel reflection at the surface, the DoLP at any angle well into the glint region can therefore be used to detect alterations in the ocean surface. More specifically, the glint profile at this wavelength is fitted to the Cox-Munk model with a routine which can optimally estimate wind speed and direction, while taking into account aircraft attitude variations in determining the viewing geometry. The surveyed area also presents a complex mix of aerosol types. At least one major urban layer originating in the US Southeast mixes in the central portion of the flight trajectory with smoke caused by controlled burns around the damaged platform. The constrain on surface reflectance provided by the SWIR RSP channel, together with the aerosol optical depth provided by the HSRL, are used in Radiative Transfer computations to model the channels at shorter wavelengths and retrieve aerosol descriptive parameters such as aerosol size distribution and refractive index. Finally, the presence of smoke is ground for a discussion on the possibility to infer

  1. Variations in organic carbon chemistry in the Gulf Coast and coastal marshes following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holloway, J. M.; Orem, W. H.; Aiken, G.; Varonka, M. S.; Butler, K.; Kokaly, R. F.

    2011-12-01

    Record volumes of oil released from the Macondo well following the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon offshore oil-drilling platform in the Gulf of Mexico significantly impacted coastal marshes in Barataria Bay, Louisiana. Remote sensing and water sampling was conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey to evaluate the extent of impact. Water samples were collected offshore from near the spill site July 5-10, 2010 to characterize molecular organic carbon chemistry on unfiltered samples and dissolved organic carbon (DOC) on filtered samples. Three field visits were conducted in July 7-10, August 12-14, and August 24-26, 2010, to collect samples from the soil-water interface in coastal marshes along lower Barataria Bay and the Bird's Foot Delta at the distal end of the Mississippi River Delta. Visible oil in the marsh was observed as thick coatings on vegetation and soil and as sheens at the water surface. Samples were extracted for hydrocarbons with dichloromethane, separated into aliphatic, aromatic and polar compound classes using standard column techniques, and analyzed by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry. A significant amount of oil was observed "dissolved" in the water column with a hydrocarbon distribution resembling that of the surface oil slick. While oils maintained many of the more volatile lower molecular weight components near the spill site, these were mostly gone in the onshore Barataria Bay samples, leaving mostly higher molecular weight components. Dissolved organic carbon was characterized using concentration, fluorescence index (FI), specific ultratviolet absorbance (SUVA) and excitation/emission fluorescence (EEM). Offshore samples had distinctive EEMs patterns, SUVA and FI. With few exceptions, marsh samples had EEMs patterns more similar to previously extracted organic matter from the Mississippi River than to the offshore oil. In spite of visible oil sheen in unfiltered water from contaminated shorelines and no visible sign of impact on

  2. State of the art satellite and airborne marine oil spill remote sensing: Application to the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leifer, Ira; Lehr, William J.; Simecek-Beatty, Debra; Bradley, Eliza; Clark, Roger N.; Dennison, Philip E.; Hu, Yongxiang; Matheson, Scott; Jones, Cathleen E; Holt, Benjamin; Reif, Molly; Roberts, Dar A.; Svejkovsky, Jan; Swayze, Gregg A.; Wozencraft, Jennifer M.

    2012-01-01

    The vast and persistent Deepwater Horizon (DWH) spill challenged response capabilities, which required accurate, quantitative oil assessment at synoptic and operational scales. Although experienced observers are a spill response's mainstay, few trained observers and confounding factors including weather, oil emulsification, and scene illumination geometry present challenges. DWH spill and impact monitoring was aided by extensive airborne and spaceborne passive and active remote sensing.Oil slick thickness and oil-to-water emulsion ratios are key spill response parameters for containment/cleanup and were derived quantitatively for thick (> 0.1 mm) slicks from AVIRIS (Airborne Visible/Infrared Imaging Spectrometer) data using a spectral library approach based on the shape and depth of near infrared spectral absorption features. MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) satellite, visible-spectrum broadband data of surface-slick modulation of sunglint reflection allowed extrapolation to the total slick. A multispectral expert system used a neural network approach to provide Rapid Response thickness class maps.Airborne and satellite synthetic aperture radar (SAR) provides synoptic data under all-sky conditions; however, SAR generally cannot discriminate thick (> 100 μm) oil slicks from thin sheens (to 0.1 μm). The UAVSAR's (Uninhabited Aerial Vehicle SAR) significantly greater signal-to-noise ratio and finer spatial resolution allowed successful pattern discrimination related to a combination of oil slick thickness, fractional surface coverage, and emulsification.In situ burning and smoke plumes were studied with AVIRIS and corroborated spaceborne CALIPSO (Cloud Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observation) observations of combustion aerosols. CALIPSO and bathymetry lidar data documented shallow subsurface oil, although ancillary data were required for confirmation.Airborne hyperspectral, thermal infrared data have nighttime and

  3. The impact of Deepwater Horizon oil spill on petroleum hydrocarbons in surface waters of the northern Gulf of Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Zhanfei; Liu, Jiqing; Gardner, Wayne S.; Shank, G. Christopher; Ostrom, Nathaniel E.

    2016-07-01

    This study evaluated impacts of the BP Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill on petroleum hydrocarbons in surface waters of the Louisiana continental shelf in northern Gulf of Mexico. Surface water ( top 5 cm) without visible oil was collected from three cruises in May 2010 during the oil spill, August 2010 after the well was capped, and May 2011 one year after the spill. Concentrations of total dissolved n-alkanes (C9-C35) in surface seawater were more than an order of magnitude higher in May 2010 than August 2010 and May 2011, indicating contamination by the DWH oil spill. This conclusion was further supported by more abundant smaller n-alkanes (C9-C13), together with pristane and phytane, in May than August 2010 samples. In contrast, even carbon-numbered dissolved n-alkanes (C14-C20) dominated the May 2011 samples, and this distribution pattern of dissolved n-alkanes is the first documentation for water samples in the northern Gulf of Mexico. However, this pattern was not observed in May 2011 suspended particles except for Sta. OSS. This decoupling between dissolved and particle compositions suggests that either these even carbon-numbered n-alkanes originated from bacteria rather than algae, or that the alkanes in the shelf were transported from elsewhere. Concentrations of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in suspended particles were 5 times higher on average in May 2010 (83-252 ng L-1) than May 2011 (7.2-83 ng L-1), also indicating contamination by the DWH oil spill. Application of a biomarker ratio of 17α(H),21β(H)-30-norhopane over 17α(H),21β(H)-hopane confirmed that suspended particles from at least two stations were contaminated by the DWH oil spill in May 2010. Taken together, these results showed that surface waters of the sampling area in May 2010 were contaminated by the oil spill, but also that rapid weathering and/or physical dilution quickly reduced hydrocarbon levels by August 2010.

  4. Co-exposure to sunlight enhances the toxicity of naturally weathered Deepwater Horizon oil to early lifestage red drum (Sciaenops ocellatus) and speckled seatrout (Cynoscion nebulosus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alloy, Matthew; Garner, Thomas Ross; Bridges, Kristin; Mansfield, Charles; Carney, Michael; Forth, Heather; Krasnec, Michelle; Lay, Claire; Takeshita, Ryan; Morris, Jeffrey; Bonnot, Shane; Oris, James; Roberts, Aaron

    2017-03-01

    The 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill resulted in the accidental release of millions of barrels of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico. Photo-induced toxicity following co-exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation is 1 mechanism by which polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) from oil spills may exert toxicity. Red drum and speckled seatrout are both important fishery resources in the Gulf of Mexico. They spawn near-shore and produce positively buoyant embryos that hatch into larvae in approximately 24 h. The goal of the present study was to determine whether exposure to UV as natural sunlight enhances the toxicity of crude oil to early lifestage red drum and speckled seatrout. Larval fish were exposed to several dilutions of high-energy water-accommodated fractions (HEWAFs) from 2 different oils collected in the field under chain of custody during the 2010 spill and 3 gradations of natural sunlight in a factorial design. Co-exposure to natural sunlight and oil significantly reduced larval survival compared with exposure to oil alone. Although both species were sensitive at PAH concentrations reported during the Deepwater Horizon spill, speckled seatrout demonstrated a greater sensitivity to photo-induced toxicity than red drum. These data demonstrate that even advanced weathering of slicks does not ameliorate the potential for photo-induced toxicity of oil to these species. Environ Toxicol Chem 2017;36:780-785. © 2016 SETAC. © 2016 SETAC.

  5. 4 Years after the Deepwater Horizon Spill: Molecular Transformation of Macondo Well Oil in Louisiana Salt Marsh Sediments Revealed by FT-ICR Mass Spectrometry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Huan; Hou, Aixin; Corilo, Yuri E; Lin, Qianxin; Lu, Jie; Mendelssohn, Irving A; Zhang, Rui; Rodgers, Ryan P; McKenna, Amy M

    2016-09-06

    Gulf of Mexico saltmarsh sediments were heavily impacted by Macondo well oil (MWO) released from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill. Detailed molecular-level characterization of sediment extracts collected over 48 months post-spill highlights the chemical complexity of highly polar, oxygen-containing compounds that remain environmentally persistent. Electrospray ionization (ESI) Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry (FT-ICR-MS), combined with chromatographic prefractionation, correlates bulk chemical properties to elemental compositions of oil-transformation products as a function of time. Carboxylic acid incorporation into parent MWO hydrocarbons detected in sediment extracts (corrected for mass loss relative to C30 hopane) proceeds with an increase of ∼3-fold in O2 species after 9 months to a maximum of a ∼5.5-fold increase after 36 months, compared to the parent MWO. More importantly, higher-order oxygenated compounds (O4-O6) not detected in the parent MWO increase in relative abundance with time as lower-order oxygenated species are transformed into highly polar, oxygen-containing compounds (Ox, where x > 3). Here, we present the first molecular-level characterization of temporal compositional changes that occur in Deepwater Horizon derived oil contamination deposited in a saltmarsh ecosystem from 9 to 48 months post-spill and identify highly oxidized Macondo well oil compounds that are not detectable by routine gas-chromatography-based techniques.

  6. Horizons

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The JPL HORIZONS on-line solar system data and ephemeris computation service provides access to key solar system data and flexible production of highly accurate...

  7. Effects of Building a Sand Barrier Berm to Mitigate the Effects of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill on Louisiana Marshes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lavoie, Dawn; Flocks, James G.; Kindinger, Jack G.; Sallenger, A.H.; Twichell, David C.

    2010-01-01

    The State of Louisiana requested emergency authorization on May 11, 2010, to perform spill mitigation work on the Chandeleur Islands and on all the barrier islands from Grand Terre Island eastward to Sandy Point to enhance the capability of the islands to reduce the movement of oil from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill to the marshes. The proposed action-building a barrier berm (essentially an artificial island fronting the existing barriers and inlets) seaward of the existing barrier islands and inlets-'restores' the protective function of the islands but does not alter the islands themselves. Building a barrier berm to protect the mainland wetlands from oil is a new strategy and depends on the timeliness of construction to be successful. Prioritizing areas to be bermed, focusing on those areas that are most vulnerable and where construction can be completed most rapidly, may increase chances for success. For example, it may be easier and more efficient to berm the narrow inlets of the coastal section to the west of the Mississippi River Delta rather than the large expanses of open water to the east of the delta in the southern parts of the Breton National Wildlife Refuge (NWR). This document provides information about the potential available sand resources and effects of berm construction on the existing barrier islands. The proposed project originally involved removing sediment from a linear source approximately 1 mile (1.6 km) gulfward of the barrier islands and placing it just seaward of the islands in shallow water (~2-m depth where possible) to form a continuous berm rising approximately 6 feet (~2 m) above sea level (North American Vertical Datum of 1988-NAVD88) with an ~110-yd (~100-m) width at water level and a slope of 25:1 to the seafloor. Discussions within the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and with others led to the determination that point-source locations, such as Hewes Point, the St. Bernard Shoals, and Ship Shoal, were more suitable 'borrow

  8. Chemical oceanographic data collected aboard the RYAN CHOUEST in the Gulf of Mexico from 2010-07-01 to 2010-07-09 in response to the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill event (NODC Accession 0084581)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Chemical oceanographic data were collected aboard the RYAN CHOUEST in the Gulf of Mexico from 2010-07-01 to 2010-07-09 in response to the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill...

  9. Chemical oceanographic data collected aboard the RYAN CHOUEST in the Gulf of Mexico from 2010-06-24 to 2010-06-29 in response to the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill event (NODC Accession 0084580)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Chemical oceanographic data were collected aboard the RYAN CHOUEST in the Gulf of Mexico from 2010-06-24 to 2010-06-29 in response to the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill...

  10. Chemical oceanographic data collected aboard the RYAN CHOUEST in the Gulf of Mexico from 2010-07-25 to 2010-07-28 in response to the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill event (NODC Accession 0084585)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Chemical oceanographic data were collected aboard the RYAN CHOUEST in the Gulf of Mexico from 2010-07-25 to 2010-07-28 in response to the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill...

  11. Chemical oceanographic data collected aboard the RYAN CHOUEST in the Gulf of Mexico from 2010-08-13 to 2010-08-23 in response to the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill event (NODC Accession 0084587)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Chemical oceanographic data were collected aboard the RYAN CHOUEST in the Gulf of Mexico from 2010-08-13 to 2010-08-23 in response to the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill...

  12. Chemical oceanographic data collected aboard the RYAN CHOUEST in the Gulf of Mexico from 2010-06-18 to 2010-06-23 in response to the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill event (NODC Accession 0084579)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Chemical oceanographic data were collected aboard the RYAN CHOUEST in the Gulf of Mexico from 2010-06-18 to 2010-06-23 in response to the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill...

  13. Chemical oceanographic data collected aboard the RYAN CHOUEST in the Gulf of Mexico from 2010-06-09 to 2010-06-16 in response to the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill event (NODC Accession 0084578)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Chemical oceanographic data were collected aboard the RYAN CHOUEST in the Gulf of Mexico from 2010-06-09 to 2010-06-16 in response to the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill...

  14. Chemical oceanographic data collected aboard the RYAN CHOUEST in the Gulf of Mexico from 2010-06-05 to 2010-06-07 in response to the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill event (NODC Accession 0084569)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Chemical oceanographic data were collected aboard the RYAN CHOUEST in the Gulf of Mexico from 2010-06-05 to 2010-06-07 in response to the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill...

  15. Chemical oceanographic data collected aboard the RYAN CHOUEST in the Gulf of Mexico from 2010-07-21 to 2010-07-23 in response to the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill event (NODC Accession 0084584)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Chemical oceanographic data were collected aboard the RYAN CHOUEST in the Gulf of Mexico from 2010-07-21 to 2010-07-23 in response to the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill...

  16. Chemical oceanographic data collected aboard the RYAN CHOUEST in the Gulf of Mexico from 2010-06-07 to 2010-06-09 in response to the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill event (NODC Accession 0084576)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Chemical oceanographic data were collected aboard the RYAN CHOUEST in the Gulf of Mexico from 2010-06-07 to 2010-06-09 in response to the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill...

  17. Chemical oceanographic data collected aboard the RYAN CHOUEST in the Gulf of Mexico from 2010-07-28 to 2010-08-09 in response to the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill event (NODC Accession 0084586)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Chemical oceanographic data were collected aboard the RYAN CHOUEST in the Gulf of Mexico from 2010-07-28 to 2010-08-09 in response to the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill...

  18. Chemical oceanographic data collected aboard the RYAN CHOUEST in the Gulf of Mexico from 2010-07-14 to 2010-07-19 in response to the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill event (NODC Accession 0084583)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Chemical oceanographic data were collected aboard the RYAN CHOUEST in the Gulf of Mexico from 2010-07-14 to 2010-07-19 in response to the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill...

  19. Unknown oceanographic data collected aboard the Ridley Thomas in the Gulf of Mexico from 2010-06-26 to 2010-06-29 in response to the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill event (NODC Accession 0084612)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Unknown oceanographic data were collected aboard the Ridley Thomas in the Gulf of Mexico from 2010-06-26 to 2010-06-29 in response to the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill...

  20. Unknown oceanographic data collected aboard NOAA Ship DELAWARE II in the Gulf of Mexico from 2010-07-14 to 2010-07-24 in response to the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill event (NCEI Accession 0084595)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Unknown oceanographic data were collected aboard NOAA Ship DELAWARE II in the Gulf of Mexico from 2010-07-14 to 2010-07-24 in response to the Deepwater Horizon Oil...

  1. Oceanographic data collected aboard NOAA Ship PISCES in the Gulf of Mexico from 2010-07-26 to 2010-07-29 in response to the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill event (NCEI Accession 0084594)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Oceanographic data were collected aboard NOAA Ship PISCES in the Gulf of Mexico from 2010-07-26 to 2010-07-29 in response to the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill event on...

  2. Oceanographic data collected aboard NOAA Ship Pisces in the Gulf of Mexico from 2010-07-15 to 2010-07-21 in response to the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill event (NCEI Accession 0084593)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Oceanographic data were collected aboard NOAA Ship Pisces in the Gulf of Mexico from 2010-07-15 to 2010-07-21 in response to the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill event on...

  3. Chemical oceanographic data collected aboard the RYAN CHOUEST in the Gulf of Mexico from 2010-08-27 to 2010-09-01 in response to the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill event (NODC Accession 0084588)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Chemical oceanographic data were collected aboard the RYAN CHOUEST in the Gulf of Mexico from 2010-08-27 to 2010-09-01 in response to the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill...

  4. Horizons

    CERN Document Server

    Hooft, G

    2004-01-01

    The gravitational force harbours a fundamental instability against collapse. In standard General Relativity without Quantum Mechanics, this implies the existence of black holes as natural, stable solutions of Einstein's equations. If one attempts to quantize the gravitational force, one should also consider the question how Quantum Mechanics affects the behaviour of black holes. In this lecture, we concentrate on the horizon. One would have expected that its properties could be derived from general coordinate transformations out of a vacuum state. In contrast, it appears that much new physics is needed. Much of that is still poorly understood, but one may speculate on the way information is organized at a horizon, and how refined versions of Quantum Theory may lead to answers.

  5. Application of enhanced gas chromatography/triple quadrupole mass spectrometry for monitoring petroleum weathering and forensic source fingerprinting in samples impacted by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adhikari, Puspa L; Wong, Roberto L; Overton, Edward B

    2017-10-01

    Accurate characterization of petroleum hydrocarbons in complex and weathered oil residues is analytically challenging. This is primarily due to chemical compositional complexity of both the oil residues and environmental matrices, and the lack of instrumental selectivity due to co-elution of interferences with the target analytes. To overcome these analytical selectivity issues, we used an enhanced resolution gas chromatography coupled with triple quadrupole mass spectrometry in Multiple Reaction Monitoring (MRM) mode (GC/MS/MS-MRM) to eliminate interferences within the ion chromatograms of target analytes found in environmental samples. This new GC/MS/MS-MRM method was developed and used for forensic fingerprinting of deep-water and marsh sediment samples containing oily residues from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The results showed that the GC/MS/MS-MRM method increases selectivity, eliminates interferences, and provides more accurate quantitation and characterization of trace levels of alkyl-PAHs and biomarker compounds, from weathered oil residues in complex sample matrices. The higher selectivity of the new method, even at low detection limits, provides greater insights on isomer and homolog compositional patterns and the extent of oil weathering under various environmental conditions. The method also provides flat chromatographic baselines for accurate and unambiguous calculation of petroleum forensic biomarker compound ratios. Thus, this GC/MS/MS-MRM method can be a reliable analytical strategy for more accurate and selective trace level analyses in petroleum forensic studies, and for tacking continuous weathering of oil residues. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Meaning, Resilience, and Traumatic Stress After the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill: A Study of Mississippi Coastal Residents Seeking Mental Health Services.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aiena, Bethany J; Buchanan, Erin M; Smith, C Veronica; Schulenberg, Stefan E

    2016-12-01

    The present study examines the relationship between resilience, perceived meaning in life, and traumatic stress symptoms among coastal residents of Mississippi directly affected by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill (also known as the Gulf oil spill). The study was conducted as part of a larger project that assessed the spill's effect on the mental health of individuals seeking therapeutic services. Multiple regression analyses were conducted to determine if resilience and perceived meaning are significant predictors of scores from a measure of posttraumatic stress. Descriptive data, reliability coefficients, and correlations were also calculated. Higher levels of resilience and meaning together were predictive of fewer posttraumatic stress symptoms after controlling for the effect of the spill. Resilience and meaning appeared to be similar predictors of lower posttraumatic stress scores, and meaning appears to be an important facet of what makes a person resilient.

  7. Chemical comparison and acute toxicity of water accommodated fraction (WAF) of source and field collected Macondo oils from the Deepwater Horizon spill.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faksness, Liv-Guri; Altin, Dag; Nordtug, Trond; Daling, Per S; Hansen, Bjørn Henrik

    2015-02-15

    Two Source oils and five field collected oil residues from the Deepwater Horizon incident were chemically characterized. Water accommodated fractions (WAFs) of the Source oils and two of the field-weathered oils were prepared to evaluate the impact of natural weathering on the chemical composition and the acute toxicity of the WAFs. Toxicity test species representing different tropic levels were used (the primary producer Skeletonema costatum (algae) and the herbivorous copepod Acartia tonsa). The results suggest that the potential for acute toxicity is higher in WAFs from non-weathered oils than WAFs from the field weathered oils. The Source oils contained a large fraction of soluble and bioavailable components (such as BTEX (benzene, toluene, ethyl benzene, xylenes) and naphthalene), whereas in the surface collected oils these components were depleted by dissolution into the water column as the oil rose to the surface and by evaporative loss after reaching the sea surface.

  8. Impacts of Macondo oil from Deepwater Horizon spill on the growth response of the common reed Phragmites australis: a mesocosm study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Judy, Chad R; Graham, Sean A; Lin, Qianxin; Hou, Aixin; Mendelssohn, Irving A

    2014-02-15

    We investigated impacts of Macondo MC252 oil from the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) spill on the common reed Phragmites australis (Cav.) Trin. ex Steud., a dominant species of the Mississippi River Delta. In greenhouse experiments, we simulated the most common DWH oiling scenarios by applying weathered and emulsified Macondo oil to aboveground shoots at varying degrees of coverage (0-100%) or directly to marsh soil at different dosages (0-16 Lm(-)(2)). P. australis exhibited strong resistance to negative impacts when oil was applied to shoots alone, while reductions in above- and belowground plant growth were apparent when oil was applied to the soil or with repeated shoot-oiling. Although soil-oiling compromised plant function, mortality of P. australis did not occur. Our results demonstrate that P. australis has a high tolerance to weathered and emulsified Macondo oil, and that mode of exposure (aboveground versus belowground) was a primary determinant of impact severity.

  9. On the possible long-term fate of oil released in the deepwater horizon incident: estimated by ensembles of dye release simulations

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Maltrud, Mathew E.; Peacock, Synte L.; Visbeck, Martin

    2010-08-01

    We have conducted an ensemble of 20 simulations using a high-resolution global ocean model in which dye was continuously injected at the site of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig for two months. We then extended these simulations for another four months to track the dispersal of the dye in the model. We have also performed five simulations in which dye was continuously injected at the site of the spill for four months and then run out to one year from the initial spill date. The experiments can elucidate the time and space scales of dispersal of polluted waters and also give a quantitative estimate of dilution rate, ignoring any sink terms such as chemical or biological degradation.

  10. On the possible long-term fate of oil released in the deepwater horizon incident: estimated by ensembles of dye release simulations

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Maltrud, Mathew E.; Peacock, Synte L.; Visbeck, Martin

    2010-08-01

    We have conducted an ensemble of 20 simulations using a high-resolution global ocean model in which dye was continuously injected at the site of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig for two months. We then extended these simulations for another four months to track the dispersal of the dye in the model. We have also performed five simulations in which dye was continuously injected at the site of the spill for four months and then run out to one year from the initial spill date. The experiments can elucidate the time and space scales of dispersal of polluted waters and also give a quantitative estimate of dilution rate, ignoring any sink terms such as chemical or biological degradation.

  11. The B P Deepwater Horizon disaster - why it shouldn't happen off Norway; Gulf of Mexico (GoM) oil spill

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Stoichevski, William

    2010-07-01

    As Europe holidayed and the Gulf of Mexico (GoM) filled with oil from the blown Macondo well, Norway's Petroleum Inspection Authority (PSA) worked full tilt to bolster drilling safety with lessons from the Deepwater Horizon disaster. Known for approving the high-pressure, high-temperature wells of the Norwegian Sea, the PSA said it was already practicing 'all but five' of 21 new offshore safety recommendations from the office of US Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar. Indeed, Salazar and the US President's press chief said out loud that America would look to the offshore safety model in Norway, where PSA inspectors horrified by Macondo were getting tougher on drilling and well design. Local oil spill planning was already on the right track. (Author)

  12. Individual and community-level determinants of mental and physical health after the deepwater horizon oil spill: findings from the gulf States population survey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fan, Amy Z; Prescott, Marta R; Zhao, Guixiang; Gotway, Carol A; Galea, Sandro

    2015-01-01

    The 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill had enormous consequences on the environment. Prevalence of mental and physical health conditions among Gulf residents after the disaster, however, are still being assessed. The Gulf State Population Survey (GSPS) was a representative survey of 38,361 residents in four Gulf States and was conducted from December 2010 to December 2011. Analysis of the GSPS data showed that differences in individual characteristics and direct or indirect exposure to the disaster drove the individual-level variation in health outcomes (mental distress, physical distress, and depression). Direct exposure to the disaster itself was the most important determinant of health after this event. Selected county-level characteristics were not found to be significantly associated with any of our health indicators of interest. This study suggests that in the context of an overwhelming event, persons who are most directly affected through direct exposure should be the primary focus of any public health intervention effort.

  13. Chronic effects of non-weathered and weathered crude oil and dispersant associated with the Deepwater Horizon incident on development of larvae of the eastern oyster, Crassostrea virginica.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Langdon, Chris J; Stefansson, Emily S; Pargee, Suzanne M; Blunt, Susanna M; Gage, Susan J; Stubblefield, William A

    2016-08-01

    The present study examined the effects of chronic exposure of eastern oyster (Crassostrea virginica) larvae to the water-accommodated fractions of fresh and weathered oils collected from the Deepwater Horizon incident, with and without additions of the dispersant Corexit 9500A, as well as to solutions of Corexit alone. Both shell growth of larvae exposed to test materials for a period of 10 d and larval settlement after 28 d of exposure were the most sensitive endpoints, with the 10-d growth endpoint being less variable among replicates. Growth and settlement endpoints were more sensitive than larval survival and normal development after 10 d and 28 d. Acute-to-chronic ratios calculated in the present study suggest that acute toxicities of oils and dispersant for oysters are not predictive of chronic effect levels for growth and settlement; therefore, chronic bioassays are necessary to assess these sublethal effects, in addition to standard 48-h acute toxicity tests. Comparison of 10% effective concentration (EC10) values for chronic 10-d growth and 28-d settlement endpoints with concentrations of total polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and dipropylene glycol n-butyl ether (a marker for Corexit) in seawater samples, collected during and after the Deepwater Horizon incident, indicated it was unlikely that elevated concentrations of water-soluble fractions of oil and dispersant in the nearshore environment had significant adverse effects on the growth and settlement of eastern oyster larvae. Environ Toxicol Chem 2016;35:2029-2040. © 2016 SETAC.

  14. A new model for the biodegradation kinetics of oil droplets: application to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vilcáez, Javier; Li, Li; Hubbard, Susan S

    2013-10-20

    Oil biodegradation by native bacteria is one of the most important natural processes that can attenuate the environmental impacts of marine oil spills. Existing models for oil biodegradation kinetics are mostly for dissolved oil. This work developed a new mathematical model for the biodegradation of oil droplets and applied the model to estimate the time scale for oil biodegradation under conditions relevant to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. In the model, oil is composed of droplets of various sizes following the gamma function distribution. Each oil droplet shrinks during the microbe-mediated degradation at the oil-water interface. Using our developed model, we find that the degradation of oil droplets typically goes through two stages. The first stage is characterized by microbial activity unlimited by oil-water interface with higher biodegradation rates than that of the dissolved oil. The second stage is governed by the availability of the oil-water interface, which results in much slower rates than that of soluble oil. As a result, compared to that of the dissolved oil, the degradation of oil droplets typically starts faster and then quickly slows down, ultimately reaching a smaller percentage of degraded oil in longer time. The availability of the water-oil interface plays a key role in determining the rates and extent of degradation. We find that several parameters control biodegradation rates, including size distribution of oil droplets, initial microbial concentrations, initial oil concentration and composition. Under conditions relevant to the Deepwater Horizon spill, we find that the size distribution of oil droplets (mean and coefficient of variance) is the most important parameter because it determines the availability of the oil-water interface. Smaller oil droplets with larger variance leads to faster and larger extent of degradation. The developed model will be useful for evaluating transport and fate of spilled oil, different

  15. Impact of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill on population size and genetic structure of horse flies in Louisiana marshes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Husseneder, Claudia; Donaldson, Jennifer R; Foil, Lane D

    2016-01-12

    The greenhead horse fly, Tabanus nigrovittatus Macquart, is frequently found in coastal marshes of the Eastern United States. The greenhead horse fly larvae are top predators in the marsh and thus vulnerable to changes in the environment, and the adults potentially are attracted to polarized surfaces like oil. Therefore, horse fly populations could serve as bioindicators of marsh health and toxic effects of oil intrusion. In this study, we describe the impact of the April 2010 Deep Water Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico on tabanid population abundance and genetics as well as mating structure. Horse fly populations were sampled biweekly from oiled and unaffected locations immediately after the oil spill in June 2010 until October 2011. Horse fly abundance estimates showed severe crashes of tabanid populations in oiled areas. Microsatellite genotyping of six pristine and seven oiled populations at ten polymorphic loci detected genetic bottlenecks in six of the oiled populations in association with fewer breeding parents, reduced effective population size, lower number of family clusters and fewer migrants among populations. This is the first study assessing the impact of oil contamination at the level of a top arthropod predator of the invertebrate community in salt marshes.

  16. Organic contaminants, trace and major elements, and nutrients in water and sediment sampled in response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nowell, Lisa H.; Ludtke, Amy S.; Mueller, David K.; Scott, Jonathon C.

    2012-01-01

    Beach water and sediment samples were collected along the Gulf of Mexico coast to assess differences in contaminant concentrations before and after landfall of Macondo-1 well oil released into the Gulf of Mexico from the sinking of the British Petroleum Corporation's Deepwater Horizon drilling platform. Samples were collected at 70 coastal sites between May 7 and July 7, 2010, to document baseline, or "pre-landfall" conditions. A subset of 48 sites was resampled during October 4 to 14, 2010, after oil had made landfall on the Gulf of Mexico coast, called the "post-landfall" sampling period, to determine if actionable concentrations of oil were present along shorelines. Few organic contaminants were detected in water; their detection frequencies generally were low and similar in pre-landfall and post-landfall samples. Only one organic contaminant--toluene--had significantly higher concentrations in post-landfall than pre-landfall water samples. No water samples exceeded any human-health benchmarks, and only one post-landfall water sample exceeded an aquatic-life benchmark--the toxic-unit benchmark for polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) mixtures. In sediment, concentrations of 3 parent PAHs and 17 alkylated PAH groups were significantly higher in post-landfall samples than pre-landfall samples. One pre-landfall sample from Texas exceeded the sediment toxic-unit benchmark for PAH mixtures; this site was not sampled during the post-landfall period. Empirical upper screening-value benchmarks for PAHs in sediment were exceeded at 37 percent of post-landfall samples and 22 percent of pre-landfall samples, but there was no significant difference in the proportion of samples exceeding benchmarks between paired pre-landfall and post-landfall samples. Seven sites had the largest concentration differences between post-landfall and pre-landfall samples for 15 alkylated PAHs. Five of these seven sites, located in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama, had diagnostic

  17. Concentrations of the genotoxic metals, chromium and nickel, in whales, tar balls, oil slicks, and released oil from the gulf of Mexico in the immediate aftermath of the deepwater horizon oil crisis: is genotoxic metal exposure part of the deepwater horizon legacy?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wise, John Pierce; Wise, James T F; Wise, Catherine F; Wise, Sandra S; Gianios, Christy; Xie, Hong; Thompson, W Douglas; Perkins, Christopher; Falank, Carolyne; Wise, John Pierce

    2014-01-01

    Concern regarding the Deepwater Horizon oil crisis has largely focused on oil and dispersants while the threat of genotoxic metals in the oil has gone largely overlooked. Genotoxic metals, such as chromium and nickel, damage DNA and bioaccumulate in organisms, resulting in persistent exposures. We found chromium and nickel concentrations ranged from 0.24 to 8.46 ppm in crude oil from the riser, oil from slicks on surface waters and tar balls from Gulf of Mexico beaches. We found nickel concentrations ranged from 1.7 to 94.6 ppm wet weight with a mean of 15.9 ± 3.5 ppm and chromium concentrations ranged from 2.0 to 73.6 ppm wet weight with a mean of 12.8 ± 2.6 ppm in tissue collected from Gulf of Mexico whales in the wake of the crisis. Mean tissue concentrations were significantly higher than those found in whales collected around the world prior to the spill. Given the capacity of these metals to damage DNA, their presence in the oil, and their elevated concentrations in whales, we suggest that metal exposure is an important understudied concern for the Deepwater Horizon oil disaster.

  18. A coupled nearfield and farfield large-eddy simulation for oil transport from deep-water blowouts - a study of the effects of dispersant in the Deepwater Horizon accident

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chamecki, M.; Chen, B.; Yang, D.; Meneveau, C. V.

    2016-12-01

    The Deepwater Horizon accident and the ensuing oil leak at 1.5 km depth in the Gulf of Mexico focused attention on the challenges associated with underwater blowouts in the deep ocean. The strategy adopted for use of chemical dispersants during the leak was, and it still is, one of the most controversial points in the response effort. This work investigates the effects of dispersant applications to oil transport using idealized high-resolution numerical simulations. Deep-water blowouts generate plumes of oil droplets and gas bubbles that rise through, and interact with, various layers of the ocean. The different scales and physical processes governing the dynamics of the oil plume at each layer require different numerical simulation strategies. We develop a high-fidelity turbulence-resolving numerical model using the large-eddy simulation technique which consists of two modules targeting two distinguished stages of the oil plume dispersion: "nearfiled" and "farfield". The "nearfield module" simulates the dynamics of the multiphase plume containing gas bubbles and oil droplets originating from the oil well and rising through the 1.5 km stratified water column. The formation of deep-water intrusions and the separation of oil and gas plumes due to weak crossflow is captured by LES. As the oil plume approaches the bottom of the ocean mixed layer, the "farfield module" takes over and simulates the near-surface oil transport using a new numerical approach called ENDLESS (extended nonperiodic domain LES for scalars) to accommodate the fairly large horizontal extent of the plume. ENDLESS is a multiscale plume modeling approach, which permits simulations of oil plumes including effects of submesoscale eddies, surface waves, Langmuir cells, and 3D small-scale turbulence with reasonable computing power. The two simulation modules are coupled, allowing the representation of the entire plume in a turbulence-resolving context. Simulations are performed to elucidate the effect of

  19. Ocean current data measured by the Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler (ADCP) aboard the Development Driller III from 2010-05-31 to 2010-07-04 in the Gulf of Mexico in response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill (NODC Accession 0083634)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Ocean current data were collected by ADCP aboard the Discoverer Enterprise in the Gulf of Mexico in response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill event on April 20,...

  20. Near-realtime oceanographic profile data collected by CTD's and XBT's aboard NOAA Ship Gordon Gunter from 2010-04-22 to 2010-05-30 as part of the GTSPP in response to the 20100420 Deepwater Horizon oil spill event (NCEI Accession 0065703)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Data products and in situ oceanographic data collected in response to the Deepwater Horizon Event in the Gulf of Mexico (May 2010). The Global Temperature and...

  1. Near-realtime oceanographic profile data collected by CTD's and XBT's aboard NOAA Ship Nancy Foster from 2010-07-01 to 2010-07-18 as part of the GTSPP in response to the 20100420 Deepwater Horizon oil spill event (NCEI Accession 0065729)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Data products and in situ oceanographic data collected in response to the Deepwater Horizon Event in the Gulf of Mexico (May 2010). The Global Temperature and...

  2. Ocean current data measured by the Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler (ADCP) aboard the Discoverer Enterprise oil platform from May 23, 2010 to July 04, 2010 in the Gulf of Mexico in response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill (NODC Accession 0083684)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Ocean current data were collected by ADCP aboard the Discoverer Enterprise in the Gulf of Mexico in response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill event on April 20,...

  3. Quality controlled water, sediment, tissue, and tar/oil chemistry analyses from the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill event in the Gulf of Mexico from 2010-04 to 2011-06, sourced from NOAA's Query Manager data management system (NODC Accession 0108924)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This collection includes 4 data files (one each for water, sediment, tissue, and tar/oil analyses) containing data from the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) Oil Spill Event...

  4. Chemical and physical oceanographic data collected from numerous vessels in the Gulf of Mexico in response to the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill event and compiled for the Joint Analysis Group summary report: NOAA Technical Report NOS OR&R 27 (NODC Accession 0087872)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The Deepwater Horizon Joint Analysis Group (JAG) for Surface and Sub-Surface Oceanography, Oil and Dispersant Data was a working group with membership from federal...

  5. Impact of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill on the Changes in the Seasonal Average Concentrations of Nickel, Vanadium, and Lead in Bottom Sediment Retrieved from the Outer Continental Shelf, Gulf of Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steffy, D. A.; Nichols, A.; Morgan, J.; Gibbs, R.

    2013-12-01

    Sediment samples were collected during the fall of 2010 and 2011from across the Gulf of Mexico outer continental shelf (OCS). A Tukey range test was used to compare samples between the relict sand deposits of the northern Gulf OCS to the relict carbonate sediments off of western Florida OCS. Tests indicate that nickel, vanadium, and lead are significantly higher (p < 0.05) in the seasonal average concentrations in the relict sand deposits closer to the Deepwater Horizon Well. These metals also significantly decreased (p < 0.05) from 2010 to 2011 in each region. These changes can be explained by the presence of a new source for these metals in the crude oil released from the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill during the spring of 2010. Chromium and thallium did not vary seasonally or between the two areas of the OCS being investigated.

  6. 深水动力定位钻完井作业的风险管理探述%Risk Management of Deepwater Drilling and Completion Operations Using DP Drilling Units

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    刘潇; 谢彬

    2012-01-01

    This paper analyzes the cause of deepwater horizon blowout accident and the risk of position loss during drilling and completion operation using the concept of well integrity double barriers. A risk management framework is also proposed for the management of deepwater drilling and completion operations using DP drilling units.%运用井口完整性双安全屏障的概念分析了深海地平线号井喷事故的原因和动力定位平台在动力定位模式下进行钻完井作业时由移位引起的井喷风险,并就动力定位钻完井作业的风险管理提出相关的建议.

  7. Photocatalytic pre-treatment with food-grade TiO(2) increases the bioavailability and bioremediation potential of weathered oil from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brame, Jonathon A; Hong, Seok Won; Lee, Jaesang; Lee, Sang-Hyup; Alvarez, Pedro J J

    2013-02-01

    Using the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico as an impetus, we explored the potential for TiO(2)-mediated photocatalytic reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation to increase the bioavailability (solubility) and biodegradability of weathered oil after a spill. Food grade TiO(2), which is FDA approved for use as food additive in the United States, was tested as a photocatalyst for this novel application. Photocatalytic pre-treatment (0.05 wt.% TiO(2), UV irradiation 18 W m(-2), 350-400 nm) for 24 h in a bench top photoreactor increased the soluble organic carbon content of weathered oil by 60%, and enhanced its subsequent biodegradation (measured as O(2) consumption in a respirometer) by 37%. Photocatalytic pre-treatment was also tested outdoors under sunlight illumination, but no significant increase in solubility or biodegradation was observed after 11 d of exposure. Although sunlight irradiation of food-grade TiO(2) generated ROS (assessed by the degradation of 4-chlorophenol as a probe compound), the efficacy of weathered oil pre-treatment was apparently hindered by sinking of the photocatalysts under quiescent conditions and illumination occlusion by the oil. Overall, results indicate that photocatalytic pre-treatment to stimulate bioremediation of weathered oil deserves further consideration, but controlling the buoyancy and surface hydrophobicity of the photocatalysts will be important for future efforts to enable ROS generation in proximity to the target compounds.

  8. Louisiana residents' self-reported lack of information following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill: Effects on seafood consumption and risk perception.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simon-Friedt, Bridget R; Howard, Jessi L; Wilson, Mark J; Gauthe, David; Bogen, Donald; Nguyen, Daniel; Frahm, Ericka; Wickliffe, Jeffrey K

    2016-09-15

    In 2010, the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill adversely impacted many communities along the Gulf of Mexico. Effects on Gulf waters, marshes, aquatic life, and fisheries were evident in the following days, months, and years. Through studying affected communities' perceptions regarding the DWH accident, we aim to identify behavioral changes, understand public information sources, and inform dissemination strategies that improve communications from regulatory agencies. Over a three-year period (2012-2015), residents (n = 192) from 7 coastal parishes in southeast Louisiana were surveyed about their perceptions and behaviors before, during, and after the DWH accident. Self-reported consumption of local seafood decreased significantly (50%) during the DWH oil spill but returned to pre-event reported levels by 2015. However, negative seafood quality perceptions remain and have not returned to what were generally positive pre-event levels. Over 30% of study participants trust relatives, friends, and neighbors more than government officials or scientists as information sources regarding locally harvested seafood. Importantly, nearly 50% of participants report that they lack the information needed to make informed decisions regarding the safety of consuming local seafood. We conclude that a lack of information and trust in government agencies exacerbated negative perceptions of oil spill-related dangers. In some cases, overestimation of perceived dangers likely led to behavioral modifications that persist today. Efforts should be made to improve relationships between public health agencies and communities in order to properly inform all citizens of risks following environmental disasters.

  9. Genomic and genotoxic responses to controlled weathered-oil exposures confirm and extend field studies on impacts of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on native killifish.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Whitney Pilcher

    Full Text Available To understand the ecotoxicological impacts of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, field studies provide a context for ecological realism but laboratory-based studies offer power for connecting biological effects with specific causes. As a complement to field studies, we characterized genome-wide gene expression responses of Gulf killifish (Fundulus grandis to oil-contaminated waters in controlled laboratory exposures. Transcriptional responses to the highest concentrations of oiled water in the laboratory were predictive of field-observed responses that coincided with the timing and location of major oiling. The transcriptional response to the low concentration (∼ 10-fold lower than the high concentration was distinct from the high concentration and was not predictive of major oiling in the field. The high concentration response was characterized by activation of the molecular signaling pathway that facilitates oil metabolism and oil toxicity. The high concentration also induced DNA damage. The low concentration invoked expression of genes that may support a compensatory response, including genes associated with regulation of transcription, cell cycle progression, RNA processing, DNA damage, and apoptosis. We conclude that the gene expression response detected in the field was a robust indicator of exposure to the toxic components of contaminating oil, that animals in the field were exposed to relatively high concentrations that are especially damaging to early life stages, and that such exposures can damage DNA.

  10. Novel transcriptome assembly and comparative toxicity pathway analysis in mahi-mahi (Coryphaena hippurus) embryos and larvae exposed to Deepwater Horizon oil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Elvis Genbo; Mager, Edward M.; Grosell, Martin; Hazard, E. Starr; Hardiman, Gary; Schlenk, Daniel

    2017-03-01

    The impacts of Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil on morphology and function during embryonic development have been documented for a number of fish species, including the economically and ecologically important pelagic species, mahi-mahi (Coryphaena hippurus). However, further investigations on molecular events and pathways responsible for developmental toxicity have been largely restricted due to the limited molecular data available for this species. We sought to establish the de novo transcriptomic database from the embryos and larvae of mahi-mahi exposed to water accommodated fractions (HEWAFs) of two DWH oil types (weathered and source oil), in an effort to advance our understanding of the molecular aspects involved during specific toxicity responses. By high throughput sequencing (HTS), we obtained the first de novo transcriptome of mahi-mahi, with 60,842 assembled transcripts and 30,518 BLAST hits. Among them, 2,345 genes were significantly regulated in 96hpf larvae after exposure to weathered oil. With comparative analysis to a reference-transcriptome-guided approach on gene ontology and tox-pathways, we confirmed the novel approach effective for exploring tox-pathways in non-model species, and also identified a list of co-expressed genes as potential biomarkers which will provide information for the construction of an Adverse Outcome Pathway which could be useful in Ecological Risk Assessments.

  11. Effects of Deepwater Horizon crude oil exposure, temperature and developmental stage on oxygen consumption of embryonic and larval mahi-mahi (Coryphaena hippurus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pasparakis, Christina; Mager, Edward M; Stieglitz, John D; Benetti, Daniel; Grosell, Martin

    2016-12-01

    The timing and location of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon (DWH) incident within the Gulf of Mexico resulted in crude oil exposure of many commercially and ecologically important fish species, such as mahi-mahi (Coryphaena hippurus), during the sensitive early life stages. Previous research has shown that oil exposure during the embryonic stage of predatory pelagic fish reduces cardiac function - a particularly important trait for fast-swimming predators with high aerobic demands. However, it is unclear whether reductions in cardiac function translate to impacts on oxygen consumption in these developing embryos and larvae. A 24-channel optical-fluorescence oxygen-sensing system for high-throughput respiration measurements was used to investigate the effects of oil exposure, temperature and developmental stage on oxygen consumption rates in embryonic and larval mahi-mahi. Oil-exposed developing mahi-mahi displayed increased oxygen consumption, despite clear cardiac deformities and bradycardia, confirming oxygen uptake and delivery from a source other than the circulatory system. In addition to metabolic rate measurements, nitrogenous waste excretion was measured to test the hypothesis that increased energy demand was fueled by protein catabolism. This is the first study to our knowledge that demonstrates increased energy demand and energy depletion in oil-exposed developing mahi-mahi.

  12. A novel system for embryo-larval toxicity testing of pelagic fish: Applications for impact assessment of Deepwater Horizon crude oil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stieglitz, John D; Mager, Edward M; Hoenig, Ronald H; Alloy, Matthew; Esbaugh, Andrew J; Bodinier, Charlotte; Benetti, Daniel D; Roberts, Aaron P; Grosell, Martin

    2016-11-01

    Key differences in the developmental process of pelagic fish embryos, in comparison to embryos of standard test fish species, present challenges to obtaining sufficient control survival needed to successfully perform traditional toxicity testing bioassays. Many of these challenges relate to the change in buoyancy, from positive to negative, of pelagic fish embryos that occurs just prior to hatch. A novel exposure system, the pelagic embryo-larval exposure chamber (PELEC), has been developed to conduct successful bioassays on the early life stages (ELSs; embryos/larvae) of pelagic fish. Using this unique recirculating upwelling system, it was possible to significantly improve control survival in pelagic fish ELS bioassays compared to commonly used static exposure methods. Results demonstrate that control performance of mahi-mahi (Coryphaena hippurus) embryos in the PELEC system, measured as percent survival after 96-hrs, significantly outperformed agitated static exposure and static exposure systems. Similar significant improvements in 72-hr control survival were obtained with yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares). The PELEC system was subsequently used to test the effects of photo-induced toxicity of crude oil to mahi-mahi ELSs over the course of 96-hrs. Results indicate a greater than 9-fold increase in toxicity of Deepwater Horizon (DWH) crude oil during co-exposure to ambient sunlight compared to filtered ambient sunlight, revealing the importance of including natural sunlight in 96-hr DWH crude oil bioassays as well as the PELEC system's potential application in ecotoxicological assessments.

  13. The effects of weathering and chemical dispersion on Deepwater Horizon crude oil toxicity to mahi-mahi (Coryphaena hippurus) early life stages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Esbaugh, Andrew J; Mager, Edward M; Stieglitz, John D; Hoenig, Ronald; Brown, Tanya L; French, Barbara L; Linbo, Tiffany L; Lay, Claire; Forth, Heather; Scholz, Nathaniel L; Incardona, John P; Morris, Jeffrey M; Benetti, Daniel D; Grosell, Martin

    2016-02-01

    To better understand the impact of the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) incident on commercially and ecologically important pelagic fish species, a mahi-mahi spawning program was developed to assess the effect of embryonic exposure to DWH crude oil with particular emphasis on the effects of weathering and dispersant on the magnitude of toxicity. Acute lethality (96 h LC50) ranged from 45.8 (28.4-63.1) μg l(-1) ΣPAH for wellhead (source) oil to 8.8 (7.4-10.3) μg l(-1) ΣPAH for samples collected from the surface slick, reinforcing previous work that weathered oil is more toxic on a ΣPAH basis. Differences in toxicity appear related to the amount of dissolved 3 ringed PAHs. The dispersant Corexit 9500 did not influence acute lethality of oil preparations. Embryonic oil exposure resulted in cardiotoxicity after 48 h, as evident from pericardial edema and reduced atrial contractility. Whereas pericardial edema appeared to correlate well with acute lethality at 96 h, atrial contractility did not. However, sub-lethal cardiotoxicity may impact long-term performance and survival. Dispersant did not affect the occurrence of pericardial edema; however, there was an apparent reduction in atrial contractility at 48 h of exposure. Pericardial edema at 48 h and lethality at 96 h were equally sensitive endpoints in mahi-mahi.

  14. Interannual variability of soft-bottom macrobenthic communities of the NW Gulf of Mexico in relationship to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salcedo, Diana L; Soto, Luis A; Estradas-Romero, Alejandro; Botello, Alfonso V

    2017-01-30

    A 3-year research program was undertaken to assess potential environmental disturbance caused by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill to the soft-bottom macrobenthic communities within Mexican waters of the northwestern Gulf of Mexico. Community properties and temporal/spatial variability were analyzed besides toxicant parameters such as hydrocarbons and trace-metals. Overall infaunal density increased, taxa proportion changed, and small-size opportunistic organisms prevailed throughout the study. Annual abundance-biomass comparison (ABC) curves revealed progressive stress scenarios from moderate to severe. Concentrations of vanadium, nickel, cobalt, PAHs and AHs increased gradually over time. However, low correlations between benthic density and biogeochemical variables were determined. Initially, sedimentary properties were the main drivers of benthic community structure; subsequently, nickel, vanadium and PAHs, indicative of anthropogenic effect, were highlighted. Interannual variability in the macroinfauna was attributed to the synergy of several environmental factors. Undoubtedly, compounds derived from fossil fuels had a significant disturbance role, but their source remains uncertain. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Assessment of the toxic potential of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) affecting Gulf menhaden (Brevoortia patronus) harvested from waters impacted by the BP Deepwater Horizon Spill.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olson, Gregory M; Meyer, Buffy M; Portier, Ralph J

    2016-02-01

    Approximately 4.9 million barrels of crude oil and gas were released into the Gulf of Mexico (GoM) from April to July 2010 during the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) spill. This resulted in the possible contamination of marine organisms with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), USEPA identified constituents of concern. To determine the impact of the DWH oil spill, Gulf menhaden (Brevoortia patronus), a commercially harvested and significant trophic grazing species, was sampled from two Louisiana coastal regions between the years 2011-2013. Tissue extraction and GC/MS analysis demonstrated measurable concentrations of PAH within menhaden. Analysis yielded total PAHs, carcinogenic equivalents (BaP-TEQ), and mutagenic equivalents (BaP-MEQ) which provided an initial toxic potential assessment of this GoM Fishery. Gulf menhaden contained less total PAH concentrations in 2012 and significantly less in 2013 as compared to 2011 (p PAHs were also significantly reduced (p PAH concentrations and the reduction of BaP-TEQs and MEQs between 2011 and 2013 indicates a diminished input of new source PAHs along with a reduction of carcinogenic and mutagenic PAHs in menhaden populations. The use of Gulf menhaden was successful in determining the acute toxic potential of PAHs contaminating the GoM in the years directly following the DWH spill event.

  16. Louisiana residents’ self-reported lack of information following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill: Effects on seafood consumption and risk perception

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simon-Friedt, Bridget R.; Howard, Jessi L.; Wilson, Mark J.; Gauthe, David; Bogen, Donald; Nguyen, Daniel; Frahm, Ericka; Wickliffe, Jeffrey K.

    2016-01-01

    In 2010, the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill adversely impacted many communities along the Gulf of Mexico. Effects on Gulf waters, marshes, aquatic life, and fisheries were evident in the following days, months, and years. Through studying affected communities’ perceptions regarding the DWH accident, we aim to identify behavioral changes, understand public information sources, and inform dissemination strategies that improve communications from regulatory agencies. Over a three-year period (2012 −2015), residents (n = 192) from 7 coastal parishes in southeast Louisiana were surveyed about their perceptions and behaviors before, during, and after the DWH accident. Self-reported consumption of local seafood decreased significantly (50%) during the DWH oil spill but returned to pre-event reported levels by 2015. However, negative seafood quality perceptions remain and have not returned to what were generally positive pre-event levels. Over 30% of study participants trust relatives, friends, and neighbors more than government officials or scientists as information sources regarding locally harvested seafood. Importantly, nearly 50% of participants report that they lack the information needed to make informed decisions regarding the safety of consuming local seafood. We conclude that a lack of information and trust in government agencies exacerbated negative perceptions of oil spill-related dangers. In some cases, overestimation of perceived dangers likely led to behavioral modifications that persist today. Efforts should be made to improve relationships between public health agencies and communities in order to properly inform all citizens of risks following environmental disasters. PMID:27289418

  17. Novel pathways for injury from offshore oil spills: direct, sublethal and indirect effects of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on pelagic Sargassum communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Powers, Sean P; Hernandez, Frank J; Condon, Robert H; Drymon, J Marcus; Free, Christopher M

    2013-01-01

    The pelagic brown alga Sargassum forms an oasis of biodiversity and productivity in an otherwise featureless ocean surface. The vast pool of oil resulting from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill came into contact with a large portion of the Gulf of Mexico's floating Sargassum mats. Aerial surveys performed during and after the oil spill show compelling evidence of loss and subsequent recovery of Sargassum. Expanding on the trends observed in the aerial surveys, we conducted a series of mesocosm experiments to test the effect of oil and dispersants on the vertical position and weight of the Sargassum complex (Sargassum natans and S. fluitans), as well as on the dissolved oxygen concentrations surrounding the algae. Dispersant and dispersed-oil had significant effects on the vertical position of both species of Sargassum over a period of 72 hours. Similarly, dissolved oxygen concentrations were lowest in dispersant and dispersed-oil treatments, respectively. Cumulatively, our findings suggest three pathways for oil-spill related injury: (1) Sargassum accumulated oil on the surface exposing animals to high concentrations of contaminants; (2) application of dispersant sank Sargassum, thus removing the habitat and potentially transporting oil and dispersant vertically; and (3) low oxygen surrounded the habitat potentially stressing animals that reside in the alga. These pathways represent direct, sublethal, and indirect effects of oil and dispersant release that minimize the ecosystem services provided by floating Sargassum - the latter two effects are rarely considered in assessing impacts of oil spills or response procedures.

  18. The use of ephyrae of a scyphozoan jellyfish, Aurelia aurita, in the aquatic toxicological assessment of Macondo oils from the Deepwater Horizon incident.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Echols, B S; Smith, A J; Gardinali, P R; Rand, G M

    2016-02-01

    Ephyrae of the scyphozoan jellyfish, Aurelia aurita, were evaluated in 96-hr acute toxicity tests for lethal response to Macondo crude oils from the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) incident in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM), Corexit 9500, and oil-dispersant mixtures. Water accommodated fractions (WAFs) of weathered and unweathered Macondo crude oils were not acutely toxic to ephyrae (LC50s > 100% WAF). The total PAHs (TPAHs), measured as the sum of 46 PAHs, averaged 21.1and 152 µg TPAH/L for WAFs of weathered and unweathered oil, respectively. Mortality was significantly (p = <0.0001) higher in the three highest exposure concentrations (184-736 µg TPAH/L) of chemically dispersed WAFs (CEWAF) compared to controls. Dispersant only tests resulted in a mean LC50 of 32.3 µL/L, which is in the range of previously published LC50s for marine zooplankton. Changes in appearance and muscle contractions were observed in organisms exposed to CEWAF dilutions of 12.5 and 25%, as early as 24 h post-exposure. Based on the results of these tests, crude oil alone did not cause significant acute toxicity; however, the presence of chemical dispersant resulted in substantial mortality and physical and behavioral abnormalities either due to an increase in hydrocarbons or droplet exposure. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Response of salt marshes to oiling from the Deepwater Horizon spill: Implications for plant growth, soil surface-erosion, and shoreline stability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Qianxin; Mendelssohn, Irving A; Graham, Sean A; Hou, Aixin; Fleeger, John W; Deis, Donald R

    2016-07-01

    We investigated the initial impacts and post spill recovery of salt marshes over a 3.5-year period along northern Barataria Bay, LA, USA exposed to varying degrees of Deepwater Horizon oiling to determine the effects on shoreline-stabilizing vegetation and soil processes. In moderately oiled marshes, surface soil total petroleum hydrocarbon concentrations were ~70mgg(-1) nine months after the spill. Though initial impacts of moderate oiling were evident, Spartina alterniflora and Juncus roemerianus aboveground biomass and total live belowground biomass were equivalent to reference marshes within 24-30months post spill. In contrast, heavily oiled marsh plants did not fully recover from oiling with surface soil total petroleum hydrocarbon concentrations that exceeded 500mgg(-1) nine months after oiling. Initially, heavy oiling resulted in near complete plant mortality, and subsequent recovery of live aboveground biomass was only 50% of reference marshes 42months after the spill. Heavy oiling also changed the vegetation structure of shoreline marshes from a mixed Spartina-Juncus community to predominantly Spartina; live Spartina aboveground biomass recovered within 2-3years, however, Juncus showed no recovery. In addition, live belowground biomass (0-12cm) in heavily oiled marshes was reduced by 76% three and a half years after the spill. Detrimental effects of heavy oiling on marsh plants also corresponded with significantly lower soil shear strength, lower sedimentation rates, and higher vertical soil-surface erosion rates, thus potentially affecting shoreline salt marsh stability.

  20. Footprint, weathering, and persistence of synthetic-base drilling mud olefins in deep-sea sediments following the Deepwater Horizon disaster.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stout, Scott A; Payne, James R

    2017-03-13

    Olefin-based synthetic-based drilling mud (SBM) was released into the Gulf of Mexico as a result of the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) disaster in 2010. We studied the composition of neat SBM and, using conventional GC-FID, the extent, concentration, and chemical character of SBM-derived olefins in >3600 seafloor sediments collected in 2010/2011 and 2014. SBM-derived (C14-C20) olefins occurred (up to 10cm deep) within a 6.5km(2) "footprint" around the well. The olefin concentration in most sediments decreased an order of magnitude between 2010/2011 and 2014, at least in part due to biodegradation, evidenced by the preferential loss C16 and C18 linear (α- and internal) versus branched olefins. Based on their persistence for 4-years in sediments around the Macondo well, and 13-years near a former unrelated drill site (~62km away), weathered SBM-derived olefins released during the DWH disaster are anticipated to persist in deep-sea sediment for (at least) a comparable duration.

  1. Novel pathways for injury from offshore oil spills: direct, sublethal and indirect effects of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on pelagic Sargassum communities.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sean P Powers

    Full Text Available The pelagic brown alga Sargassum forms an oasis of biodiversity and productivity in an otherwise featureless ocean surface. The vast pool of oil resulting from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill came into contact with a large portion of the Gulf of Mexico's floating Sargassum mats. Aerial surveys performed during and after the oil spill show compelling evidence of loss and subsequent recovery of Sargassum. Expanding on the trends observed in the aerial surveys, we conducted a series of mesocosm experiments to test the effect of oil and dispersants on the vertical position and weight of the Sargassum complex (Sargassum natans and S. fluitans, as well as on the dissolved oxygen concentrations surrounding the algae. Dispersant and dispersed-oil had significant effects on the vertical position of both species of Sargassum over a period of 72 hours. Similarly, dissolved oxygen concentrations were lowest in dispersant and dispersed-oil treatments, respectively. Cumulatively, our findings suggest three pathways for oil-spill related injury: (1 Sargassum accumulated oil on the surface exposing animals to high concentrations of contaminants; (2 application of dispersant sank Sargassum, thus removing the habitat and potentially transporting oil and dispersant vertically; and (3 low oxygen surrounded the habitat potentially stressing animals that reside in the alga. These pathways represent direct, sublethal, and indirect effects of oil and dispersant release that minimize the ecosystem services provided by floating Sargassum - the latter two effects are rarely considered in assessing impacts of oil spills or response procedures.

  2. Oil spill analysis by means of full polarimetric UAVSAR (L-band) and Radarsat-2 (C-band) products acquired during Deepwater Horizon Disaster

    Science.gov (United States)

    Latini, Daniele; Del Frate, Fabio; Jones, Cathleen E.

    2014-10-01

    SAR instruments with polarimetric capabilities, high resolution and short revisit time can provide powerful support in oil spill monitoring and different techniques of analysis have been developed for this purpose [1][2]. An oil film on the sea surface results in darker areas in SAR images, but careful interpretation is required because dark spots can also be caused by natural phenomena. In view of the very low backscatter from slicks, the Noise Equivalent Sigma Zero (NESZ) is a primary sensor parameter to be considered when using a sensor for slick analysis. Among the existing full polarimetric sensors, the high resolution and very low NESZ values of UAVSAR (L-band) and RADARSAT-2 (C-band) make them preferable for oil spill analysis compared to the last generation SAR instruments. The Deepwater Horizon disaster that occurred in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 represents a unique and extensive test site where large amounts of SAR imagery and ground validation data are available. By applying the Cloude-Pottier decomposition method to full polarimetric UAVSAR (L-band) and RADARSAT-2 (C-band), it is possible to extract parameters that describe the scattering mechanism of the target. By comparing quasi-simultaneous acquisitions and exploiting the different penetration capabilities of the sensors, we investigate the potential of full polarimetric SAR to discriminate oil on the sea surface from look-alike phenomena covering the full range of backscattering values down to those at the instrument noise floor.

  3. Community Resilience, Psychological Resilience, and Depressive Symptoms: An Examination of the Mississippi Gulf Coast 10 Years After Hurricane Katrina and 5 Years After the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Joohee; Blackmon, Bret J; Cochran, David M; Kar, Bandana; Rehner, Timothy A; Gunnell, Mauri Stubbs

    2017-08-30

    This study examined the role of community resilience and psychological resilience on depressive symptoms in areas on the Mississippi Gulf Coast that have experienced multiple disasters. Survey administration took place in the spring of 2015 to a spatially stratified, random sample of households. This analysis included a total of 294 subjects who lived in 1 of the 3 counties of the Mississippi Gulf Coast at the time of both Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010. The survey included the Communities Advancing Resilience Toolkit (CART) scale, the Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale (CD-RISC 10), and the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D). There was a significant inverse relationship between psychological resilience and depressive symptoms and a significant positive relationship between community resilience and psychological resilience. The results also revealed that community resilience was indirectly related to depressive symptoms through the mediating variable of psychological resilience. These findings highlight the importance of psychological resilience in long-term disaster recovery and imply that long-term recovery efforts should address factors associated with both psychological and community resilience to improve mental health outcomes. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2017;page 1 of 8).

  4. The influence of droplet size and biodegradation on the transport of subsurface oil droplets during the Deepwater Horizon spill: a model sensitivity study

    Science.gov (United States)

    North, Elizabeth W.; Adams, E. Eric; Thessen, Anne E.; Schlag, Zachary; He, Ruoying; Socolofsky, Scott A.; Masutani, Stephen M.; Peckham, Scott D.

    2015-02-01

    A better understanding of oil droplet formation, degradation, and dispersal in deep waters is needed to enhance prediction of the fate and transport of subsurface oil spills. This research evaluates the influence of initial droplet size and rates of biodegradation on the subsurface transport of oil droplets, specifically those from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. A three-dimensional coupled model was employed with components that included analytical multiphase plume, hydrodynamic and Lagrangian models. Oil droplet biodegradation was simulated based on first order decay rates of alkanes. The initial diameter of droplets (10-300 μm) spanned a range of sizes expected from dispersant-treated oil. Results indicate that model predictions are sensitive to biodegradation processes, with depth distributions deepening by hundreds of meters, horizontal distributions decreasing by hundreds to thousands of kilometers, and mass decreasing by 92-99% when biodegradation is applied compared to simulations without biodegradation. In addition, there are two- to four-fold changes in the area of the seafloor contacted by oil droplets among scenarios with different biodegradation rates. The spatial distributions of hydrocarbons predicted by the model with biodegradation are similar to those observed in the sediment and water column, although the model predicts hydrocarbons to the northeast and east of the well where no observations were made. This study indicates that improvement in knowledge of droplet sizes and biodegradation processes is important for accurate prediction of subsurface oil spills.

  5. Fingerprinting Deepwater Horizon Oil in the northern Gulf of Mexico using biomarkers and Gas Chromatography-Triple Quadrupole Mass Spectrometry (GC/MS/MS)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adhikari, P. L.; Overton, E. B.; Maiti, K.; Wong, R. L.

    2016-02-01

    Petroleum biomarkers such as hopanes, steranes, and triaromatic steroids are more persistent than alkanes and aromatic compounds. Thus, they are often used to track spilled oil in the environments and as a proxy for weathering processes. The present study utilizes water samples, suspended and sinking particles, and seafloor sediments collected during 2011-2013 from various locations of the northern Gulf of Mexico with wide range of contaminated oil for Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil fingerprinting. The MC252 source oil along with the samples collected in this study were analyzed using a gas chromatography coupled with a triple quadrupole mass spectrometry (GC/MS/MS) in Multiple Reaction Monitoring (MRM) mode and the results were compared with results from commonly used GC/MS selective ion monitoring (SIM) method. The results indicate that the MRM method separates interfering ions from interfering compounds and can be a powerful analytical strategy for a reliable identification and determination of trace levels of biomarkers in complex matrices. Source indicators such as the MRM fragment ion chromatograms of the biomarkers and their diagnostic ratios in samples were compared with the MC252 source oil. The preliminary results show that the biomarkers were below detection limits in dissolved samples. However, in few particulate and seafloor sediment samples, primarily from the immediate vicinity of the Macondo wellhead, contained their patterns. The results also illustrate that these biomarker compounds have been weathered within 1-3 years following the oil spill, and their DWH oil signature in some of these samples reflects this weathering.

  6. Sargassum coverage in the northeastern Gulf of Mexico during 2010 from Landsat and airborne observations: Implications for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill impact assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Chuanmin; Hardy, Robert; Ruder, Eric; Geggel, Amelia; Feng, Lian; Powers, Sean; Hernandez, Frank; Graettinger, George; Bodnar, Jill; McDonald, Trent

    2016-06-15

    Using high-resolution airborne measurements and more synoptic coverage of Landsat measurements, we estimated the total Sargassum coverage in the northeastern Gulf of Mexico (NE GOM) during 2010, with the ultimate purpose to infer how much Sargassum might have been in contact with oil from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Mean Sargassum coverage during the four quarters of 2010 for the study region was estimated to range from ~3148±2355km(2) during January-March to ~7584±2532km(2) during July-September (95% confidence intervals) while estimated Sargassum coverage within the integrated oil footprint ranged from 1296±453km(2) (for areas with >5% thick oil) to 736±257km(2) (for areas with >10% thick oil). Similar to previous studies on estimating Sargassum coverage, a direct validation of such estimates is impossible given the heterogeneity and scarcity of Sargassum occurrence. Nonetheless, these estimates provide preliminary information to understand relative Sargassum abundance in the NE GOM.

  7. “海洋之殇”——深水地平线事件引发的思考%Thinking of the "Deepwater Horizon" Event

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    徐炜华; 肖刚

    2011-01-01

    On April 20, 2010 at night, and British petroleum (BP) is located in the southeast Louisiana about 84 miles of the gulf of Mexico, "Deepwater Horizon" drilling platform exploded and cause a massive oil leak. About 36 hours after the platform sank to the gulf of Mexico with the major accident on the gulf coast ecological environment, economy a significant impact. The focus of this article explore the cause of the accident and summarized the accident lesson, warning people to offshore oil and gas exploration security should not be neglected.%2010年4月20日,英国石油公司(BP)位于美国路易斯安那州东南约84 km的墨西哥湾“深水地平线”钻井平台发生爆炸并引发大量原油泄漏,大约36小时后平台轰然沉入墨西哥湾,11名工作人员死亡,事故对墨西哥湾沿岸的生态环境、经济造成重大影响.文章重点剖析事故原因、总结事故教训,旨在透过事件呼唤人类对海洋安全的重视.

  8. Experimental study of clay-hydrocarbon interactions relevant to the biodegradation of the Deepwater Horizon oil from the Gulf of Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Warr, Laurence N; Friese, André; Schwarz, Florian; Schauer, Frieder; Portier, Ralph J; Basirico, Laura M; Olson, Gregory M

    2016-11-01

    Adding clay to marine oil pollution represents a promising approach to enhance bacterial hydrocarbon degradation in nutrient poor waters. In this study, three types of regionally available clays (Ca-bentonite, Fuller's Earth and kaolin) were tested to stimulate the biodegradation of source and weathered oil collected from the Deepwater Horizon spill. The weathered oil showed little biodegradation prior to experimentation and was extensively degraded by bacteria in the laboratory in a similar way as the alkane-rich source oil. For both oils, the addition of natural clay-flakes showed minor enhancement of oil biodegradation compared to the non-clay bearing control, but the clay-oil films did limit evaporation. Only alkanes of a molecular weight (MW) > 420 showed significant reduction by enhanced biodegradation following natural clay treatment. In contrast, all fertilized clay flakes showed major bacterial degradation of the oil, with a 6-10 times reduction in alkane content, and an up to 8 fold increase in the rate of O2 consumption. Compared to the control, such treatment showed particular reduction of longer chained alkanes (MW > 226). The application of natural and fertilized clay flakes also showed selective reduction of PAHs, mainly in the MW range of 200-300, but without significant change in the toxicity indices measured. These results imply that a large variety of clays may be used to boost oil biodegradation by aiding attachment of fertilizing nutrients to the oil.

  9. Spatial and temporal distribution of water column total polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) and total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPH) from the Deepwater Horizon (Macondo) incident.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wade, Terry L; Sericano, José L; Sweet, Stephen T; Knap, Anthony H; Guinasso, Norman L

    2016-02-15

    Pre-spill background concentrations of TPH and PAH in water samples from the Gulf of Mexico are compared with samples (over 20,000) collected during and after the Deepwater Horizon incident (13,000 stations). Samples were collected by multiple response agencies, trustees and BP and reported in the Gulf Science Data. The samples were collected from a few m to over 800 km in all directions from the wellhead. During the incident, samples with the highest concentrations of hydrocarbons were collected proximal to the wellhead or in samples collected from surface slicks and dispersant use. Of the 13,172 water sample TPH concentrations reported, 84% were below 1 μg/L (background). Of the 16,557 water sample PAH concentrations reported, 79% were below 0.056 μg/L (the median field blank, background). The percentage of samples below background increased rapidly after the well was capped. The spatial and temporal distributions of these hydrocarbon data are presented. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. δ13C and d15N in the endangered Kemp’s ridley sea turtle Lepidochelys kempii after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reich, Kimberly J.; López-Castro, Melania C.; Shaver, Donna J.; Iseton, Claire; Hart, Kristen M.; Hooper, Michael J.; Schmitt, Christopher J.

    2017-01-01

    The Deepwater Horizon explosion in April 2010 and subsequent oil spill released 3.19 × 106 barrels (5.07 × 108 L) of MC252 crude oil into important foraging areas of the endangered Kemp’s ridley sea turtle Lepidochelys kempii (Lk) in the northern Gulf of Mexico (GoM). We measured δ13C and δ15N in scute biopsy samples from 33 Lk nesting in Texas during 2010–-12. Of these, 27 were equipped with satellite transmitters and were tracked to traditional foraging areas in the northern GoM after the spill. Differences in δ13C between the oldest and newest scute layers from 2010 nesters were not significantly different, but δ13C in the newest layers from 2011 and 2012 nesters was significantly lower compared to 2010. δ15N differences were not statistically significant. Collectively, the stable isotope and tracking data indicate that the lower δ13C values reflect the incorporation of oil rather than changes in diet or foraging area. Discriminant analysis indicated that 51.5% of the turtles sampled had isotope signatures indicating oil exposure. Growth of the Lk population slowed in the years following the spill. The involvement of oil exposure in recent population trends is unknown, but long-term effects may not be evident for many years. Our results indicate that C isotope signatures in scutes may be useful biomarkers of sea turtle exposure to oil.

  11. Adrenal Gland and Lung Lesions in Gulf of Mexico Common Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus Found Dead following the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephanie Venn-Watson

    Full Text Available A northern Gulf of Mexico (GoM cetacean unusual mortality event (UME involving primarily bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama began in February 2010 and continued into 2014. Overlapping in time and space with this UME was the Deepwater Horizon (DWH oil spill, which was proposed as a contributing cause of adrenal disease, lung disease, and poor health in live dolphins examined during 2011 in Barataria Bay, Louisiana. To assess potential contributing factors and causes of deaths for stranded UME dolphins from June 2010 through December 2012, lung and adrenal gland tissues were histologically evaluated from 46 fresh dead non-perinatal carcasses that stranded in Louisiana (including 22 from Barataria Bay, Mississippi, and Alabama. UME dolphins were tested for evidence of biotoxicosis, morbillivirus infection, and brucellosis. Results were compared to up to 106 fresh dead stranded dolphins from outside the UME area or prior to the DWH spill. UME dolphins were more likely to have primary bacterial pneumonia (22% compared to 2% in non-UME dolphins, P = .003 and thin adrenal cortices (33% compared to 7% in non-UME dolphins, P = .003. In 70% of UME dolphins with primary bacterial pneumonia, the condition either caused or contributed significantly to death. Brucellosis and morbillivirus infections were detected in 7% and 11% of UME dolphins, respectively, and biotoxin levels were low or below the detection limit, indicating that these were not primary causes of the current UME. The rare, life-threatening, and chronic adrenal gland and lung diseases identified in stranded UME dolphins are consistent with exposure to petroleum compounds as seen in other mammals. Exposure of dolphins to elevated petroleum compounds present in coastal GoM waters during and after the DWH oil spill is proposed as a cause of adrenal and lung disease and as a contributor to increased dolphin deaths.

  12. Metagenomic analysis and metabolite profiling of deep-sea sediments from the Gulf of Mexico following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kimes, Nikole E; Callaghan, Amy V; Aktas, Deniz F; Smith, Whitney L; Sunner, Jan; Golding, Bernardt; Drozdowska, Marta; Hazen, Terry C; Suflita, Joseph M; Morris, Pamela J

    2013-01-01

    Marine subsurface environments such as deep-sea sediments, house abundant and diverse microbial communities that are believed to influence large-scale geochemical processes. These processes include the biotransformation and mineralization of numerous petroleum constituents. Thus, microbial communities in the Gulf of Mexico are thought to be responsible for the intrinsic bioremediation of crude oil released by the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill. While hydrocarbon contamination is known to enrich for aerobic, oil-degrading bacteria in deep-seawater habitats, relatively little is known about the response of communities in deep-sea sediments, where low oxygen levels may hinder such a response. Here, we examined the hypothesis that increased hydrocarbon exposure results in an altered sediment microbial community structure that reflects the prospects for oil biodegradation under the prevailing conditions. We explore this hypothesis using metagenomic analysis and metabolite profiling of deep-sea sediment samples following the DWH oil spill. The presence of aerobic microbial communities and associated functional genes was consistent among all samples, whereas, a greater number of Deltaproteobacteria and anaerobic functional genes were found in sediments closest to the DWH blowout site. Metabolite profiling also revealed a greater number of putative metabolites in sediments surrounding the blowout zone relative to a background site located 127 km away. The mass spectral analysis of the putative metabolites revealed that alkylsuccinates remained below detection levels, but a homologous series of benzylsuccinates (with carbon chain lengths from 5 to 10) could be detected. Our findings suggest that increased exposure to hydrocarbons enriches for Deltaproteobacteria, which are known to be capable of anaerobic hydrocarbon metabolism. We also provide evidence for an active microbial community metabolizing aromatic hydrocarbons in deep-sea sediments of the Gulf of Mexico.

  13. Characterization of surface oil thickness distribution patterns observed during the Deepwater Horizon (MC-252) oil spill with aerial and satellite remote sensing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Svejkovsky, Jan; Hess, Mark; Muskat, Judd; Nedwed, Tim J; McCall, Jenifer; Garcia, Oscar

    2016-09-15

    Knowledge of the spatial distribution of oil thickness patterns within an on-water spill is of obvious importance for immediate spill response activities as well as for subsequent evaluation of the spill impacts. For long-lasting continuous spills like the 2010 3-month Deepwater Horizon (DWH) event in the Gulf of Mexico, it is also important to identify changes in the dominant oil features through time. This study utilized very high resolution (≤5m) aerial and satellite imagery acquired during the DWH spill to evaluate the shape, size and thickness of surface oil features that dominated the DWH slick. Results indicate that outside of the immediate spill source region, oil distributions did not encompass a broad, varied range of thicknesses. Instead, the oil separated into four primary, distinct characterizations: 1) invisible surface films detectable only with Synthetic Aperture Radar imaging because of the decreased surface backscatter, 2) thicker sheen & rainbow areas (oil (>1mm) that were consistently hundreds of meters long but most commonly only 10-50m wide. Where present within the slick footprint, each of the three distinct visible oil thickness classes maintained its shape characteristics both spatially (at different distances from the source and in different portions of the slick), and temporally (from mid-May through July 2010). The region over the source site tended to contain a more continuous range of oil thicknesses, however, our results indicate that the continuous injection of subsurface dispersants starting in late May significantly altered (lowered) that range. In addition to characterizing the oil thickness distribution patterns through the timeline of one of the world's largest oil spills, this paper also details the extension of using high resolution aerial imagery to calibrate medium resolution satellite data sources such as USA's Thematic Mapper (30m) to provide larger-scale spatial views of major spills, and discusses implications for

  14. Oxidative stress responses of gulf killifish exposed to hydrocarbons from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill: Potential implications for aquatic food resources.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crowe, Kristi M; Newton, Joseph C; Kaltenboeck, Bernhard; Johnson, Calvin

    2014-02-01

    Ecosystem effects of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) remain under investigation following the Gulf of Mexico Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Fundulus grandis, an established indicator of aquatic ecosystem health, was investigated because this species shares genes and biochemical pathways with higher trophic-level fish and plays an important role in the gulf food chain. Oxidative stress responses including hepatic cytochrome P4501A (CYP1A) and serum antioxidant capacity were evaluated in fish exposed to PAHs. Fish were exposed to water-accommodated fractions (WAFs) of crude oil (7.0  ± 0.10 mg/L C6-C28) after which solutions were diluted below the level of detection over 8 h using 15 ppt aerated artificial seawater. Before euthanasia, fish remained in aquaria for 12 h, 24 h, or 48 h. Three replicate experiments were conducted at each time point using unexposed fish as experimental controls. Significant differences (p < 0.05) in CYP1A induction were observed in exposed versus control fish at 24 h. Expression of CYP1A increased by 25%, 66%, and 23% in exposed fish at 12 h, 24 h, and 48 h, respectively. Significant increases were observed in antioxidant capacity of nonenzymatic antioxidants in exposed versus control fish at each time point. Given the activity of CYP1A, radicals formed during PAH detoxification likely resulted in increased oxidant load requiring elevated antioxidant defenses. Research is needed to determine the duration of oxidative stress responses considering the potential for lipid oxidation in exposed fish or species feeding on exposed fish.

  15. Metagenomic analysis and metabolite profiling of deep-sea sediments from the Gulf of Mexico following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nikole Elizabeth Kimes

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available Marine subsurface environments, such as deep-sea sediments, house abundant and diverse microbial communities that are believed to influence large-scale geochemical processes. These processes include the biotransformation and mineralization of numerous petroleum constituents. Thus, microbial communities in the Gulf of Mexico are thought to be responsible for the intrinsic bioremediation of crude oil released by the Deepwater Horizon (DWH oil spill. While hydrocarbon contamination is known to enrich for aerobic, oil-degrading bacteria in deep-seawater habitats, relatively little is known about the response of communities in deep-sea sediments, where low oxygen levels may hinder such a response. Here, we examined the hypothesis that increased hydrocarbon exposure results in an altered sediment microbial community structure that reflects the prospects for oil biodegradation under the prevailing conditions. We explore this hypothesis using metagenomic analysis and metabolite profiling of deep-sea sediment samples following the DWH oil spill. The presence of aerobic microbial communities and associated functional genes was consistent among all samples, whereas, a greater number of Deltaproteobacteria and anaerobic functional genes were found in sediments closest to the DWH blowout site. Metabolite profiling also revealed a greater number of putative metabolites in sediments surrounding the blowout zone relative to a background site located 127 km away. The mass spectral analysis of the putative metabolites revealed that alkylsuccinates remained below detection levels, but a homologous series of benzylsuccinates (with carbon chain lengths from 5 to 10 could be detected. Our findings suggest that increased exposure to hydrocarbons enriches for Deltaproteobacteria, which are known to be capable of anaerobic hydrocarbon metabolism. We also provide evidence for an active microbial community metabolizing aromatic hydrocarbons in deep-sea sediments of the

  16. Ciliated protists from the nepheloid layer and water column of sites affected by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Northeastern Gulf of Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moss, Joseph A.; McCurry, Chelsea; Tominack, Sarah; Romero, Isabel C.; Hollander, David; Jeffrey, Wade H.; Snyder, Richard A.

    2015-12-01

    Benthic marine protists have been well documented from shallow marine benthic habitats but remain understudied in deeper habitats on continental shelves and slopes, particularly in the Northeastern Gulf of Mexico (NEGOM). This region was affected by a deep water oil well failure (BP-Deepwater Horizon, 2010). The combination of a lack of information on deep sea microbenthic communities and the potential for benthic microbial petroleum mineralization prompted this investigation. Water column and nepheloid layer samples were obtained via Niskin bottles and a multicorer respectively at stations across the NEGOM to: (1) determine whether nepheloid and water column communities are distinct and (2) assess benthic species richness relative to sediment PAH contamination. Phylum specific 18S rRNA gene amplification was used to construct clone libraries of ciliate assemblages. BLAST searches in the NCBI database indicated that a majority (~75%) of the clone sequences corresponded (94-100% similarity) with listed, yet unclassified sequences. Several putative species were common at most site locations and depths. Many known benthic ciliates, such as Uronychia transfuga, Uronychia setigera, and Spirotrachelostyla tani, were common in the nepheloid layer samples and not recovered in water column samples. Ciliated protist species richness increased with PAH levels found in surface sediments, suggesting a positive microbial response to petroleum enrichment of the benthos. The presence of previously unknown microbenthic communites in the nephaloid layer over oceanic clay-silt muds alters our view of microbial processes in the deep sea and merits investigation of the microbial processes and rates of microbial mineralization and biomass production important to global biogeochemistry.

  17. Impact and Recovery of Ecologically and Hydrologically Diverse Wetlands after the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ustin, S.; Khanna, S.; Shapiro, K.; Santos, M. J.

    2015-12-01

    April 20, 2010 marked the start of the British Petroleum Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, the largest oil spill in US history, which contaminated the coastal wetland ecosystems along the northern Gulf of Mexico. We used NASA airborne AVIRIS imagery and field surveys to determine the impact and recovery of three ecologically and hydrologically diverse ecosystems after the oil spill using data acquired in 2010, 2011 and 2012. This was the largest campaign attempted at that time, collecting 456 AVIRIS flightlines between 6 May and 4 Oct., 2010, many covering the coastal region impacted by the oil spill. We investigated Barataria Bay (an intertidal saltmarsh ecosystem, predominantly a Spartina-Juncus meadow), East Bird's Foot (the most botanically diverse wetland, is an intermediate/freshwater marsh, fed by the Mississippi River), and Chandeleur Islands (barrier islands surrounded by tidal mangrove shrublands). A comparison of the three sites showed variable impacts from the oil and differential ecosystem recoveries. Mangroves around the Chanderleur Islands were the most adversely affected by the oil spill and showed the least recovery after a year, based on spectral changes characteristic of stressed vegetation. East Bird's Foot freshwater marshes were minimally affected by the spill and it is likely that the Mississippi outflow resulted in little crude oil reaching these shorelines. A zonal analysis of Barataria Bay revealed that oil primarily impacted the intertidal zone along shorelines that faced the Gulf, with little impact of the oil after an average distance of 20m inland, approximately the height of the highest high tides. Although recovery of the saltgrass meadow was robust during the first year after the spill, it was also variable, with the 5m zone immediately inland from the shoreline showing the least recovery. Hurricane Isaac in 2012, although a mild category 1 hurricane, adversely impacted the saltgrass meadows along the shorelines that were recovering from

  18. Estimating upper bounds for occupancy and number of manatees in areas potentially affected by oil from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Julien; Edwards, Holly H; Bled, Florent; Fonnesbeck, Christopher J; Dupuis, Jérôme A; Gardner, Beth; Koslovsky, Stacie M; Aven, Allen M; Ward-Geiger, Leslie I; Carmichael, Ruth H; Fagan, Daniel E; Ross, Monica A; Reinert, Thomas R

    2014-01-01

    The explosion of the Deepwater Horizon drilling platform created the largest marine oil spill in U.S. history. As part of the Natural Resource Damage Assessment process, we applied an innovative modeling approach to obtain upper estimates for occupancy and for number of manatees in areas potentially affected by the oil spill. Our data consisted of aerial survey counts in waters of the Florida Panhandle, Alabama and Mississippi. Our method, which uses a Bayesian approach, allows for the propagation of uncertainty associated with estimates from empirical data and from the published literature. We illustrate that it is possible to derive estimates of occupancy rate and upper estimates of the number of manatees present at the time of sampling, even when no manatees were observed in our sampled plots during surveys. We estimated that fewer than 2.4% of potentially affected manatee habitat in our Florida study area may have been occupied by manatees. The upper estimate for the number of manatees present in potentially impacted areas (within our study area) was estimated with our model to be 74 (95%CI 46 to 107). This upper estimate for the number of manatees was conditioned on the upper 95%CI value of the occupancy rate. In other words, based on our estimates, it is highly probable that there were 107 or fewer manatees in our study area during the time of our surveys. Because our analyses apply to habitats considered likely manatee habitats, our inference is restricted to these sites and to the time frame of our surveys. Given that manatees may be hard to see during aerial surveys, it was important to account for imperfect detection. The approach that we described can be useful for determining the best allocation of resources for monitoring and conservation.

  19. Particulate accumulations in the vital organs of wild Brevoortia patronus from the northern Gulf of Mexico after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Millemann, Daniel R; Portier, Ralph J; Olson, Gregory; Bentivegna, Carolyn S; Cooper, Keith R

    2015-11-01

    Histopathologic lesions were observed in the commercially important filter-feeding fish, Brevoortia patronus (Gulf menhaden), along the Louisiana Gulf Coast. Menhaden collected from Louisiana waters in 2011 and 2012, 1 and 2 years following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, showed varying severities of gill lesions as well as an unusual accumulation of black particulates visible at necropsy in the heart and stomach vasculature. The PAH derived particulates were typically 1-4 µm in diameter, but larger aggregates were observed in the coronary vessels on the ventricle surfaces and their location and size was confirmed by light microscopy. Composited particulate composition was consistent with weathered petrogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) mixtures based on GC-MS analysis. Particulates were present in 63 and 80% of fish hearts and 70 and 89% of stomach muscularis collected in 2011 and 2012, respectively. Tissue embedded particulates can lead to localized cellular damage from bioavailable compounds, as well as chronic effects from occlusion of sensitive tissues' blood flow. The PAH derived particulates appeared to act as emboli in small capillaries, and could associated with localized inflammation, focal necrosis and inappropriate collagen and fibroblast tissue repair. We believe large volume filter feeding teleosts, such as menhaden (up to 3 million gallons per year/fish) with high lipid content, have a higher exposure risk and greater potential for toxicity from toxic particulates than other higher trophic level finfish. Suspended PAH derived particulates following an oil spill therefore, should be considered when assessing long-term ecological impacts and not be limited to physical contact (coating) or water soluble fractions for assessing toxicity (gill and neurologic).

  20. Adrenal Gland and Lung Lesions in Gulf of Mexico Common Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) Found Dead following the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Venn-Watson, Stephanie; Colegrove, Kathleen M; Litz, Jenny; Kinsel, Michael; Terio, Karen; Saliki, Jeremiah; Fire, Spencer; Carmichael, Ruth; Chevis, Connie; Hatchett, Wendy; Pitchford, Jonathan; Tumlin, Mandy; Field, Cara; Smith, Suzanne; Ewing, Ruth; Fauquier, Deborah; Lovewell, Gretchen; Whitehead, Heidi; Rotstein, David; McFee, Wayne; Fougeres, Erin; Rowles, Teri

    2015-01-01

    A northern Gulf of Mexico (GoM) cetacean unusual mortality event (UME) involving primarily bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama began in February 2010 and continued into 2014. Overlapping in time and space with this UME was the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill, which was proposed as a contributing cause of adrenal disease, lung disease, and poor health in live dolphins examined during 2011 in Barataria Bay, Louisiana. To assess potential contributing factors and causes of deaths for stranded UME dolphins from June 2010 through December 2012, lung and adrenal gland tissues were histologically evaluated from 46 fresh dead non-perinatal carcasses that stranded in Louisiana (including 22 from Barataria Bay), Mississippi, and Alabama. UME dolphins were tested for evidence of biotoxicosis, morbillivirus infection, and brucellosis. Results were compared to up to 106 fresh dead stranded dolphins from outside the UME area or prior to the DWH spill. UME dolphins were more likely to have primary bacterial pneumonia (22% compared to 2% in non-UME dolphins, P = .003) and thin adrenal cortices (33% compared to 7% in non-UME dolphins, P = .003). In 70% of UME dolphins with primary bacterial pneumonia, the condition either caused or contributed significantly to death. Brucellosis and morbillivirus infections were detected in 7% and 11% of UME dolphins, respectively, and biotoxin levels were low or below the detection limit, indicating that these were not primary causes of the current UME. The rare, life-threatening, and chronic adrenal gland and lung diseases identified in stranded UME dolphins are consistent with exposure to petroleum compounds as seen in other mammals. Exposure of dolphins to elevated petroleum compounds present in coastal GoM waters during and after the DWH oil spill is proposed as a cause of adrenal and lung disease and as a contributor to increased dolphin deaths.

  1. Detection of salt marsh vegetation stress and recovery after the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill in Barataria Bay, Gulf of Mexico using AVIRIS data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khanna, Shruti; Santos, Maria J.; Ustin, Susan L.; Koltunov, Alexander; Kokaly, Raymond F.; Roberts, Dar A.

    2013-01-01

    The British Petroleum Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico was the biggest oil spill in US history. To assess the impact of the oil spill on the saltmarsh plant community, we examined Advanced Visible Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (AVIRIS) data flown over Barataria Bay, Louisiana in September 2010 and August 2011. Oil contamination was mapped using oil absorption features in pixel spectra and used to examine impact of oil along the oiled shorelines. Results showed that vegetation stress was restricted to the tidal zone extending 14 m inland from the shoreline in September 2010. Four indexes of plant stress and three indexes of canopy water content all consistently showed that stress was highest in pixels next to the shoreline and decreased with increasing distance from the shoreline. Index values along the oiled shoreline were significantly lower than those along the oil-free shoreline. Regression of index values with respect to distance from oil showed that in 2011, index values were no longer correlated with proximity to oil suggesting that the marsh was on its way to recovery. Change detection between the two dates showed that areas denuded of vegetation after the oil impact experienced varying degrees of re-vegetation in the following year. This recovery was poorest in the first three pixels adjacent to the shoreline. This study illustrates the usefulness of high spatial resolution airborne imaging spectroscopy to map actual locations where oil from the spill reached the shore and then to assess its impacts on the plant community. We demonstrate that post-oiling trends in terms of plant health and mortality could be detected and monitored, including recovery of these saltmarsh meadows one year after the oil spill.

  2. Decline in condition of gorgonian octocorals on mesophotic reefs in the northern Gulf of Mexico: before and after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill

    Science.gov (United States)

    Etnoyer, Peter J.; Wickes, Leslie N.; Silva, Mauricio; Dubick, J. D.; Balthis, Len; Salgado, Enrique; MacDonald, Ian R.

    2016-03-01

    Hard-bottom `mesophotic' reefs along the `40-fathom' (73 m) shelf edge in the northern Gulf of Mexico were investigated for potential effects of the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill from the Macondo well in April 2010. Alabama Alps Reef, Roughtongue Reef, and Yellowtail Reef were near the well, situated 60-88 m below floating oil discharged during the DWH spill for several weeks and subject to dispersant applications. In contrast, Coral Trees Reef and Madison Swanson South Reef were far from the DWH spill site and below the slick for less than a week or not at all, respectively. The reefs were surveyed by ROV in 2010, 2011, and 2014 and compared to similar surveys conducted one and two decades earlier. Large gorgonian octocorals were present at all sites in moderate abundance including Swiftia exserta, Hypnogorgia pendula, Thesea spp., and Placogorgia spp. The gorgonians were assessed for health and condition in a before-after-control-impact (BACI) research design using still images captured from ROV video transects. Injury was modeled as a categorical response to proximity and time using logistic regression. Condition of gorgonians at sites near Macondo well declined significantly post-spill. Before the spill, injury was observed for 4-9 % of large gorgonians. After the spill, injury was observed in 38-50 % of large gorgonians. Odds of injury for sites near Macondo were 10.8 times higher post-spill, but unchanged at far sites. The majority of marked injured colonies in 2011 declined further in condition by 2014. Marked healthy colonies generally remained healthy. Background stresses to corals, including fishing activity, fishing debris, and coral predation, were noted during surveys, but do not appear to account for the decline in condition at study sites near Macondo well.

  3. Near-Inertial Surface Currents and their influence on Surface Dispersion in the Northeastern Gulf of Mexico near the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gough, M.; Reniers, A.; MacMahan, J. H.; Howden, S. D.

    2014-12-01

    The continental shelf along the northeastern Gulf of Mexico is transected by the critical latitude (30°N) for inertial motions. At this latitude the inertial period is 24 hours and diurnal surface current oscillations can amplify due to resonance with diurnal wind and tidal forcing. Tidal amplitudes are relatively small in this region although K1 tidal currents can be strong over the shelf west of the DeSoto Canyon where the K1 tide propagates onshore as a Sverdrup wave. Other sources of diurnal motions include internal tidal currents, Poincaré waves, and basin resonance. It is therefore very difficult to separate inertial wind-driven motions from other diurnal motions. Spatiotemporal surface currents were measured using hourly 6 km resolution HF radar data collected in June 2010 during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and July 2012 during the Grand Lagrangian Deployment (GLAD). Surface currents were also measured using GLAD GPS-tracked drifters. NDBC buoy wind data were used to determine wind-forcing, and OSU Tidal Inversion Software (OTIS) were used to predict tidal currents. The relative spatiotemporal influence of diurnal wind and tidal forcing on diurnal surface current oscillations is determined through a series of comparative analyses: phase and amplitude of bandpassed timeseries, wavelet analyses, wind-driven inertial oscillation calculations, and tidal current predictions. The wind-driven inertial ocean response is calculated by applying a simple "slab" model where wind-forcing is allowed to excite a layer of low-density water riding over high density water. The spatial variance of diurnal motions are found to be correlated with satellite turbidity imagery indicating that stratification influences the sea surface inertial response to wind-forcing. Surface dispersion is found to be minimized in regions of high diurnal variance suggesting that mean surface transport is restricted in regions of inertial motions associated with stratification.

  4. Detection of salt marsh vegetation stress and recovery after the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill in Barataria Bay, Gulf of Mexico using AVIRIS data.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shruti Khanna

    Full Text Available The British Petroleum Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico was the biggest oil spill in US history. To assess the impact of the oil spill on the saltmarsh plant community, we examined Advanced Visible Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (AVIRIS data flown over Barataria Bay, Louisiana in September 2010 and August 2011. Oil contamination was mapped using oil absorption features in pixel spectra and used to examine impact of oil along the oiled shorelines. Results showed that vegetation stress was restricted to the tidal zone extending 14 m inland from the shoreline in September 2010. Four indexes of plant stress and three indexes of canopy water content all consistently showed that stress was highest in pixels next to the shoreline and decreased with increasing distance from the shoreline. Index values along the oiled shoreline were significantly lower than those along the oil-free shoreline. Regression of index values with respect to distance from oil showed that in 2011, index values were no longer correlated with proximity to oil suggesting that the marsh was on its way to recovery. Change detection between the two dates showed that areas denuded of vegetation after the oil impact experienced varying degrees of re-vegetation in the following year. This recovery was poorest in the first three pixels adjacent to the shoreline. This study illustrates the usefulness of high spatial resolution airborne imaging spectroscopy to map actual locations where oil from the spill reached the shore and then to assess its impacts on the plant community. We demonstrate that post-oiling trends in terms of plant health and mortality could be detected and monitored, including recovery of these saltmarsh meadows one year after the oil spill.

  5. Hydrocarbon-Degrading Bacteria and the Bacterial Community Response in Gulf of Mexico Beach Sands Impacted by the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill▿†‡

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kostka, Joel E.; Prakash, Om; Overholt, Will A.; Green, Stefan J.; Freyer, Gina; Canion, Andy; Delgardio, Jonathan; Norton, Nikita; Hazen, Terry C.; Huettel, Markus

    2011-01-01

    A significant portion of oil from the recent Deepwater Horizon (DH) oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico was transported to the shoreline, where it may have severe ecological and economic consequences. The objectives of this study were (i) to identify and characterize predominant oil-degrading taxa that may be used as model hydrocarbon degraders or as microbial indicators of contamination and (ii) to characterize the in situ response of indigenous bacterial communities to oil contamination in beach ecosystems. This study was conducted at municipal Pensacola Beach, FL, where chemical analysis revealed weathered oil petroleum hydrocarbon (C8 to C40) concentrations ranging from 3.1 to 4,500 mg kg−1 in beach sands. A total of 24 bacterial strains from 14 genera were isolated from oiled beach sands and confirmed as oil-degrading microorganisms. Isolated bacterial strains were primarily Gammaproteobacteria, including representatives of genera with known oil degraders (Alcanivorax, Marinobacter, Pseudomonas, and Acinetobacter). Sequence libraries generated from oiled sands revealed phylotypes that showed high sequence identity (up to 99%) to rRNA gene sequences from the oil-degrading bacterial isolates. The abundance of bacterial SSU rRNA gene sequences was ∼10-fold higher in oiled (0.44 × 107 to 10.2 × 107 copies g−1) versus clean (0.024 × 107 to 1.4 × 107 copies g−1) sand. Community analysis revealed a distinct response to oil contamination, and SSU rRNA gene abundance derived from the genus Alcanivorax showed the largest increase in relative abundance in contaminated samples. We conclude that oil contamination from the DH spill had a profound impact on the abundance and community composition of indigenous bacteria in Gulf beach sands, and our evidence points to members of the Gammaproteobacteria (Alcanivorax, Marinobacter) and Alphaproteobacteria (Rhodobacteraceae) as key players in oil degradation there. PMID:21948834

  6. Adrenal Gland and Lung Lesions in Gulf of Mexico Common Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) Found Dead following the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

    Science.gov (United States)

    Venn-Watson, Stephanie; Colegrove, Kathleen M.; Litz, Jenny; Kinsel, Michael; Terio, Karen; Saliki, Jeremiah; Fire, Spencer; Carmichael, Ruth; Chevis, Connie; Hatchett, Wendy; Pitchford, Jonathan; Tumlin, Mandy; Field, Cara; Smith, Suzanne; Ewing, Ruth; Fauquier, Deborah; Lovewell, Gretchen; Whitehead, Heidi; Rotstein, David; McFee, Wayne; Fougeres, Erin; Rowles, Teri

    2015-01-01

    A northern Gulf of Mexico (GoM) cetacean unusual mortality event (UME) involving primarily bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama began in February 2010 and continued into 2014. Overlapping in time and space with this UME was the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill, which was proposed as a contributing cause of adrenal disease, lung disease, and poor health in live dolphins examined during 2011 in Barataria Bay, Louisiana. To assess potential contributing factors and causes of deaths for stranded UME dolphins from June 2010 through December 2012, lung and adrenal gland tissues were histologically evaluated from 46 fresh dead non-perinatal carcasses that stranded in Louisiana (including 22 from Barataria Bay), Mississippi, and Alabama. UME dolphins were tested for evidence of biotoxicosis, morbillivirus infection, and brucellosis. Results were compared to up to 106 fresh dead stranded dolphins from outside the UME area or prior to the DWH spill. UME dolphins were more likely to have primary bacterial pneumonia (22% compared to 2% in non-UME dolphins, P = .003) and thin adrenal cortices (33% compared to 7% in non-UME dolphins, P = .003). In 70% of UME dolphins with primary bacterial pneumonia, the condition either caused or contributed significantly to death. Brucellosis and morbillivirus infections were detected in 7% and 11% of UME dolphins, respectively, and biotoxin levels were low or below the detection limit, indicating that these were not primary causes of the current UME. The rare, life-threatening, and chronic adrenal gland and lung diseases identified in stranded UME dolphins are consistent with exposure to petroleum compounds as seen in other mammals. Exposure of dolphins to elevated petroleum compounds present in coastal GoM waters during and after the DWH oil spill is proposed as a cause of adrenal and lung disease and as a contributor to increased dolphin deaths. PMID:25992681

  7. Metagenomic analysis and metabolite profiling of deep–sea sediments from the Gulf of Mexico following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kimes, Nikole E.; Callaghan, Amy V.; Aktas, Deniz F.; Smith, Whitney L.; Sunner, Jan; Golding, BernardT.; Drozdowska, Marta; Hazen, Terry C.; Suflita, Joseph M.; Morris, Pamela J.

    2013-01-01

    Marine subsurface environments such as deep-sea sediments, house abundant and diverse microbial communities that are believed to influence large-scale geochemical processes. These processes include the biotransformation and mineralization of numerous petroleum constituents. Thus, microbial communities in the Gulf of Mexico are thought to be responsible for the intrinsic bioremediation of crude oil released by the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill. While hydrocarbon contamination is known to enrich for aerobic, oil-degrading bacteria in deep-seawater habitats, relatively little is known about the response of communities in deep-sea sediments, where low oxygen levels may hinder such a response. Here, we examined the hypothesis that increased hydrocarbon exposure results in an altered sediment microbial community structure that reflects the prospects for oil biodegradation under the prevailing conditions. We explore this hypothesis using metagenomic analysis and metabolite profiling of deep-sea sediment samples following the DWH oil spill. The presence of aerobic microbial communities and associated functional genes was consistent among all samples, whereas, a greater number of Deltaproteobacteria and anaerobic functional genes were found in sediments closest to the DWH blowout site. Metabolite profiling also revealed a greater number of putative metabolites in sediments surrounding the blowout zone relative to a background site located 127 km away. The mass spectral analysis of the putative metabolites revealed that alkylsuccinates remained below detection levels, but a homologous series of benzylsuccinates (with carbon chain lengths from 5 to 10) could be detected. Our findings suggest that increased exposure to hydrocarbons enriches for Deltaproteobacteria, which are known to be capable of anaerobic hydrocarbon metabolism. We also provide evidence for an active microbial community metabolizing aromatic hydrocarbons in deep-sea sediments of the Gulf of Mexico. PMID

  8. The weathering of oil after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill: insights from the chemical composition of the oil from the sea surface, salt marshes and sediments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Zhanfei; Liu, Jiqing; Zhu, Qingzhi; Wu, Wei

    2012-09-01

    The oil released during the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill may have both short- and long-time impacts on the northern Gulf of Mexico ecosystems. An understanding of how the composition and concentration of the oil are altered by weathering, including chemical, physical and biological processes, is needed to evaluate the oil toxicity and impact on the ecosystem in the northern Gulf of Mexico. This study examined petroleum hydrocarbons in oil mousse collected from the sea surface and salt marshes, and in oil deposited in sediments adjacent to the wellhead after the DWH oil spill. Oil mousses were collected at two stations (OSS and CT, located 130 and 85 km away from the wellhead, respectively) in May 2010, and two sediment samples from stations SG and SC, within 6 km of the wellhead, in May 2011. We also collected oil mousse from salt marshes at Marsh Point (MP), Mississippi, 186 km away from the wellhead in July 2010. In these samples, n-alkanes, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), alkylated PAHs, BTEX (collective name of benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and p-, m-, and o-xylenes), C3-benzenes and trace metals were measured to examine how the oil was altered chemically. The chemical analysis indicates that the oil mousses underwent different degrees of weathering with the pattern of OSS Petroleum hydrocarbon data reveal that the oil deposited in sediments underwent only light to moderate degradation one year after the DWH oil spill, as supported by the presence of short-chained n-alkanes (C10-C 15), BTEX and C 3-benzenes. The weathering of oil in sediment may result from biological degradation and dissolution, evidenced by the preferential loss of mid-chained n-alkanes C16-C 27, lower ratios of n-C 17/Pr and n-C 18/Ph , and preferential loss of PAHs relative to alkylated PAHs.

  9. Spatial, temporal, and habitat-related variation in abundance of pelagic fishes in the Gulf of Mexico: potential implications of the deepwater horizon oil spill.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jay R Rooker

    Full Text Available Time-series data collected over a four-year period were used to characterize patterns of abundance for pelagic fishes in the northern Gulf of Mexico (GoM before (2007-2009 and after (2010 the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Four numerically dominant pelagic species (blackfin tuna, blue marlin, dolphinfish, and sailfish were included in our assessment, and larval density of each species was lower in 2010 than any of the three years prior to the oil spill, although larval abundance in 2010 was often statistically similar to other years surveyed. To assess potential overlap between suitable habitat of pelagic fish larvae and surface oil, generalized additive models (GAMs were developed to evaluate the influence of ocean conditions on the abundance of larvae from 2007-2009. Explanatory variables from GAMs were then linked to environmental data from 2010 to predict the probability of occurrence for each species. The spatial extent of surface oil overlapped with early life habitat of each species, possibly indicating that the availability of high quality habitat was affected by the DH oil spill. Shifts in the distribution of spawning adults is another factor known to influence the abundance of larvae, and the spatial occurrence of a model pelagic predator (blue marlin was characterized over the same four-year period using electronic tags. The spatial extent of oil coincided with areas used by adult blue marlin from 2007-2009, and the occurrence of blue marlin in areas impacted by the DH oil spill was lower in 2010 relative to pre-spill years.

  10. A survey of alterations in microbial community diversity in marine sediments in response to oil from the Deepwater Horizon spill: Northern Gulf of Mexico shoreline, Texas to Florida

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lisle, John T.

    2011-01-01

    Microbial community genomic DNA was extracted from sediment samples collected from the northern Gulf of Mexico (NGOM) coast. These samples had a high probability of being impacted by Macondo-1 (M-1) well oil from the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) drilling site. The hypothesis for this project was that presence of M-1 oil in coastal sediments would significantly alter the diversity within the microbial communities associated with the impacted sediments. To determine if community-level changes did or did not occur following exposure to M-1 oil, microbial community-diversity fingerprints were generated and compared. Specific sequences within the community's genomic DNA were first amplified using the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) using a primer set that provides possible resolution to the species level. A second nested PCR that was performed on the primary PCR products using a primer set on which a GC-clamp was attached to one of the primers. These nested PCR products were separated using denaturing-gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) that resolves the nested PCR products based on sequence dissimilarities (or similarities), forming a genomic fingerprint of the microbial diversity within the respective samples. Sediment samples with similar fingerprints were grouped and compared to oil-fingerprint data from Rosenbauer and others (2010). The microbial community fingerprints grouped closely when identifying those sites that had been impacted by M-1 oil (N=12) and/or some mixture of M-1 and other oil (N=4), based upon the oil fingerprints. This report represents some of the first information on naturally occurring microbial communities in sediment from shorelines along the NGOM coast. These communities contain microbes capable of degrading oil and related hydrocarbons, making this information relevant to response and recovery of the NGOM from the DWH incident.

  11. Estimating upper bounds for occupancy and number of manatees in areas potentially affected by oil from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julien Martin

    Full Text Available The explosion of the Deepwater Horizon drilling platform created the largest marine oil spill in U.S. history. As part of the Natural Resource Damage Assessment process, we applied an innovative modeling approach to obtain upper estimates for occupancy and for number of manatees in areas potentially affected by the oil spill. Our data consisted of aerial survey counts in waters of the Florida Panhandle, Alabama and Mississippi. Our method, which uses a Bayesian approach, allows for the propagation of uncertainty associated with estimates from empirical data and from the published literature. We illustrate that it is possible to derive estimates of occupancy rate and upper estimates of the number of manatees present at the time of sampling, even when no manatees were observed in our sampled plots during surveys. We estimated that fewer than 2.4% of potentially affected manatee habitat in our Florida study area may have been occupied by manatees. The upper estimate for the number of manatees present in potentially impacted areas (within our study area was estimated with our model to be 74 (95%CI 46 to 107. This upper estimate for the number of manatees was conditioned on the upper 95%CI value of the occupancy rate. In other words, based on our estimates, it is highly probable that there were 107 or fewer manatees in our study area during the time of our surveys. Because our analyses apply to habitats considered likely manatee habitats, our inference is restricted to these sites and to the time frame of our surveys. Given that manatees may be hard to see during aerial surveys, it was important to account for imperfect detection. The approach that we described can be useful for determining the best allocation of resources for monitoring and conservation.

  12. 75 FR 26091 - Safety Zone; Riser for DEEPWATER HORIZON at Mississippi Canyon 252 Outer Continental Shelf MODU...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-05-11

    ... of natural gas, and thereby protect the safety of life, property, and the environment. Oil response... operating vehicles. In evaluating the need for the safety zone, the Coast Guard explored relevant safety...) contiguous to the territorial sea of the United States and extending to a distance up to 200 nautical...

  13. 75 FR 36773 - Pipeline Safety: Updating Facility Response Plans in Light of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-06-28

    ..., necessary resources for the response. Plans must include immediate notification procedures, spill detection and mitigation procedures, training, and a drill or simulation program. Operators are required to... drilling unit, approximately 40 miles offshore in the Gulf of Mexico, led to a massive release of crude...

  14. Evolution of Hydrocarbon-Degrading Microbial Communities in the Aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Well Blowout in the Gulf of Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andersen, G.; Dubinsky, E. A.; Chakraborty, R.; Hollibaugh, J. T.; Hazen, T. C.

    2012-12-01

    The Deepwater Horizon oil spill created large plumes of dispersed oil and gas that remained deep in the water column and stimulated growth of several deep-sea bacteria that can degrade hydrocarbons at cold temperatures. We tracked microbial community composition before, during and after the 83-day spill to determine relationships between microbial dynamics, and hydrocarbon and dissolved-oxygen concentrations. Dominant bacteria in plumes shifted drastically over time and were dependent on the concentration of hydrocarbons, and the relative quantities of insoluble and soluble oil fractions. Unmitigated flow from the wellhead early in the spill resulted in the highest concentrations of oil and relatively more n-alkanes suspended in the plume as small oil droplets. These conditions resulted in near complete dominance by alkane-degrading Oceanospirillales, Pseudomonas and Shewanella. Six-weeks into the spill overall hydrocarbon concentrations in the plume decreased and were almost entirely composed of BTEX after management actions reduced emissions into the water column. These conditions corresponded with the emergence of Colwellia, Pseudoalteromonas, Cycloclasticus and Halomonas that are capable of degrading aromatic compounds. After the well was contained dominant plume bacteria disappeared within two weeks after the spill and transitioned to an entirely different set of bacteria dominated by Flavobacteria, Methylophaga, Alteromonas and Rhodobacteraceae that were found in anomalous oxygen depressions throughout August and are prominent degraders of both high molecular weight organic matter as well as hydrocarbons. Bio-Sep beads amended with volatile hydrocarbons from MC-252 oil were used from August through September to create hydrocarbon-amended traps for attracting oil-degrading microbes in situ. Traps were placed at multiple depths on a drilling rig about 600-m from the original MC-252 oil spill site. Microbes were isolated on media using MC-252 oil as the sole

  15. A multiple endpoint analysis of the effects of chronic exposure to sediment contaminated with Deepwater Horizon oil on juvenile Southern flounder and their associated microbiomes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brown-Peterson, Nancy J., E-mail: nancy.brown-peterson@usm.edu [Department of Coastal Sciences, The University of Southern Mississippi, 703 East Beach Dr., Ocean Springs, MS 39564 (United States); Krasnec, Michelle, E-mail: MKrasnec@stratusconsulting.com [Abt Associates, 1881 Ninth Street, Suite 201, Boulder, Colorado 80302 (United States); Takeshita, Ryan, E-mail: RTakeshita@stratusconsulting.com [Abt Associates, 1881 Ninth Street, Suite 201, Boulder, Colorado 80302 (United States); Ryan, Caitlin N., E-mail: Caitlin.ryan@ttu.edu [The Institute of Environmental and Human Health, Department of Environmental Toxicology, Texas Tech University, Box 41163, Lubbock, TX 79409 (United States); Griffitt, Kimberly J., E-mail: kim.griffitt@gmail.com [Department of Coastal Sciences, The University of Southern Mississippi, 703 East Beach Dr., Ocean Springs, MS 39564 (United States); Lay, Claire, E-mail: claymsc@stratusconsulting.com [Abt Associates, 1881 Ninth Street, Suite 201, Boulder, Colorado 80302 (United States); Mayer, Gregory D., E-mail: greg.mayer@ttu.edu [The Institute of Environmental and Human Health, Department of Environmental Toxicology, Texas Tech University, Box 41163, Lubbock, TX 79409 (United States); Bayha, Keith M., E-mail: kmbayha@gmail.com [Department of Coastal Sciences, The University of Southern Mississippi, 703 East Beach Dr., Ocean Springs, MS 39564 (United States); Hawkins, William E., E-mail: william.hawkins@usm.edu [Department of Coastal Sciences, The University of Southern Mississippi, 703 East Beach Dr., Ocean Springs, MS 39564 (United States); Lipton, Ian, E-mail: ianlipton@stratusconsulting.com [Abt Associates, 1881 Ninth Street, Suite 201, Boulder, Colorado 80302 (United States); Morris, Jeffrey, E-mail: JMorrisMSCanyon252@stratusconsulting.com [Abt Associates, 1881 Ninth Street, Suite 201, Boulder, Colorado 80302 (United States); and others

    2015-08-15

    Highlights: • Juvenile southern flounder were exposed to sediment mixed with different amount of oil from the Deepwater Horizon spill. • The exposure was performed for 32 days, with growth and survival assessed throughout. • After the termination of the experiment, the survivors were examined at multiple endpoints, including histopathology and microbiome analysis. • The results indicated that the flounder were adversely affected at each endpoint examined. • Growth and survival were significantly reduced. • Histopathology found effects on gills and livers of exposed fish. • The microbiomes of the exposed fish were significantly altered by the exposure to sediment-associated oil in both gills and intestines. - Abstract: Exposure to oiled sediments can negatively impact the health of fish species. Here, we examine the effects of chronic exposure of juvenile southern flounder, Paralichthys lethostigma, to a sediment-oil mixture. Oil:sediment mixtures are persistent over time and can become bioavailable following sediment perturbation or resuspension. Juvenile flounder were exposed for 32 days under controlled laboratory conditions to five concentrations of naturally weathered Macondo MC252 oil mixed into uncontaminated, field-collected sediments. The percent composition of individual polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) of the weathered oil did not change after mixing with the sediment. Spiked exposure sediments contained 0.04–395 mg/kg tPAH50 (sum of 50 individual PAH concentration measurements). Mortality increased with both exposure duration and concentration of sediment-associated PAHs, and flounder exposed to concentrations above 8 mg/kg tPAH50 showed significantly reduced growth over the course of the experiment. Evident histopathologic changes were observed in liver and gill tissues of fish exposed to more than 8 mg/kg tPAH50. All fish at these concentrations showed hepatic intravascular congestion, macrovesicular hepatic vacoulation

  16. Effectiveness and potential ecological effects of offshore surface dispersant use during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill: a retrospective analysis of monitoring data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bejarano, Adriana C; Levine, Edwin; Mearns, Alan J

    2013-12-01

    The Special Monitoring of Applied Response Technologies (SMART) program was used during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill as a strategy to monitor the effectiveness of sea surface dispersant use. Although SMART was implemented during aerial and vessel dispersant applications, this analysis centers on the effort of a special dispersant missions onboard the M/V International Peace, which evaluated the effectiveness of surface dispersant applications by vessel only. Water samples (n = 120) were collected from background sites, and under naturally and chemically dispersed oil slicks, and were analyzed for polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (TPAHs), total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPH), and a chemical marker of Corexit (dipropylene glycol n-butyl ether, DPnB). Water chemistry results were analyzed relative to SMART field assessments of dispersant effectiveness ("not effective," "effective," and "very effective"), based on in situ fluorometry. Chemistry data were also used to indirectly determine if the use of dispersants increased the risk of acute effects to water column biota, by comparison to toxicity benchmarks. TPAH and TPH concentrations in background, and naturally and chemically dispersed samples were extremely variable, and differences were not statistically detected across sample types. Ratios of TPAH and TPH between chemically and naturally dispersed samples provided a quantitative measure of dispersant effectiveness over natural oil dispersion alone, and were in reasonable agreement with SMART field assessments of dispersant effectiveness. Samples from "effective" and "very effective" dispersant applications had ratios of TPAH and TPH up to 35 and 64, respectively. In two samples from an "effective" dispersant application, TPHs and TPAHs exceeded acute benchmarks (0.81 mg/L and 8 μg/L, respectively), while none exceeded DPnB's chronic value (1,000 μg/L). Although the primary goal of the SMART program is to provide near real-time effectiveness data to the

  17. Transcriptomic evaluation of the American oyster, Crassostrea virginica, deployed during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill: Evidence of an active hydrocarbon response pathway.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jenny, Matthew J; Walton, William C; Payton, Samantha L; Powers, John M; Findlay, Robert H; O'Shields, Britton; Diggins, Kirsten; Pinkerton, Mark; Porter, Danielle; Crane, Daniel M; Tapley, Jeffrey; Cunningham, Charles

    2016-09-01

    Estuarine organisms were impacted by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill which released ∼5 million barrels of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico in the spring and summer of 2010. Crassostrea virginica, the American oyster, is a keystone species in these coastal estuaries and is routinely used for environmental monitoring purposes. However, very little is known about their cellular and molecular responses to hydrocarbon exposure. In response to the spill, a monitoring program was initiated by deploying hatchery-reared oysters at three sites along the Alabama and Mississippi coast (Grand Bay, MS, Fort Morgan, AL, and Orange Beach, AL). Oysters were deployed for 2-month periods at five different time points from May 2010 to May 2011. Gill and digestive gland tissues were harvested for gene expression analysis and determination of aliphatic and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) concentrations. To facilitate identification of stress response genes that may be involved in the hydrocarbon response, a nearly complete transcriptome was assembled using Roche 454 and Illumina high-throughput sequencing from RNA samples obtained from the gill and digestive gland tissues of deployed oysters. This effort resulted in the assembly and annotation of 27,227 transcripts comprised of a large assortment of stress response genes, including members of the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) pathway, Phase I and II biotransformation enzymes, antioxidant enzymes and xenobiotic transporters. From this assembly several potential biomarkers of hydrocarbon exposure were chosen for expression profiling, including the AHR, two cytochrome P450 1A genes (CYP1A-like 1 and CYP1A-like 2), Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase (CuZnSOD), glutathione S-transferase theta (GST theta) and multidrug resistance protein 3 (MRP3). Higher expression levels of GST theta and MRP3 were observed in gill tissues from all three sites during the summer to early fall 2010 deployments. Linear regression analysis indicated a

  18. Satellite and airborne oil spill remote sensing: State of the art and application to the BP DeepWater Horizon oil spill

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leifer, I.; Clark, R.; Jones, C.; Holt, B.; Svejkovsky, J.; Swayze, G.

    2011-01-01

    The vast, persistent, and unconstrained oil release from the DeepWater Horizon (DWH) challenged the spill response, which required accurate quantitative oil assessment at synoptic and operational scales. Experienced observers are the mainstay of oil spill response. Key limitations are weather, scene illumination geometry, and few trained observers, leading to potential observer bias. Aiding the response was extensive passive and active satellite and airborne remote sensing, including intelligent system augmentation, reviewed herein. Oil slick appearance strongly depends on many factors like emulsion composition and scene geometry, yielding false positives and great thickness uncertainty. Oil thicknesses and the oil to water ratios for thick slicks were derived quantitatively with a new spectral library approach based on the shape and depth of spectral features related to C-H vibration bands. The approach used near infrared, imaging spectroscopy data from the AVIRIS (Airborne Visual/InfraRed Imaging Spectrometer) instrument on the NASA ER-2 stratospheric airplane. Extrapolation to the total slick used MODIS satellite visual-spectrum broadband data, which observes sunglint reflection from surface slicks; i.e., indicates the presence of oil and/or surfactant slicks. Oil slick emissivity is less than seawater's allowing MODIS thermal infrared (TIR) nighttime identification; however, water temperature variations can cause false positives. Some strong emissivity features near 6.7 and 9.7 ??m could be analyzed as for the AVIRIS short wave infrared features, but require high spectral resolution data. TIR spectral trends can allow fresh/weathered oil discrimination. Satellite Synthetic Aperture Radar (SSAR) provided synoptic data under all-sky conditions by observing oil dampening of capillary waves; however, SSAR typically cannot discriminate thick from thin oil slicks. Airborne UAVSAR's significantly greater signal-to-noise ratio and fine spatial resolution allowed

  19. Gulf of Mexico Air Quality: CALIPSO Support for Gulf of Mexico Air Quality Relating to the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nguyen, Myngoc T.; Lapointe, Stephen; Jennings, Brittney; Zoumplis, Angela

    2011-01-01

    On April 20, 2010, an oil platform belonging to BP exploded and leaked a huge volume of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. In an effort to control the spread of the oil, BP applied dispersants such as Corexit and conducted in-situ burnings of the oil. This catastrophe created a complex chain of events that affected not only the fragile water and land ecosystems, but the humans who breathe the air every day. Thousands of people were exposed to fumes associated with oil vapors from the spill, burning of the oil, and the toxic mixture of dispersants. While aiding in clean-up efforts, local fishermen were directly exposure to fumes when working on the Gulf. A notable amount of Gulf Coast residents were also exposed to the oil fumes as seasonal southeasterly winds blew vapors toward land. The Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) found in oil vapors include: benzene, toluene, ethyl benzene, xylene, naphthalene, hydrogen sulfide and particulate matter (PM). Increases in water temperature and sunlight due to the summer season allow for these VOCs and PM to evaporate into the air more rapidly. Aside from the VOCs found in oil vapors, the dispersant being used to break up the oil is highly toxic and is thought to be even more toxic than the oil itself (EPA website, 2010). To protect human health, the environment, and to make informed policy decisions relevant to the spill, the EPA Region 6 has continuously monitored the affected areas carefully for levels of pollutants in the outdoor air that are associated with petroleum products and the burning of oil along the coast. In an effort to prevent, prepare for, and respond to future oil spills that occur in and around inland waters of the United States, the EPA has been working with local, state, and federal response partners. Air quality measurements were collected by the EPA at five active monitoring systems stationed along the coast.

  20. BP « Deepwater Horizon » du Golfe du Mexique à l’Afrique : un tournant pour l’industrie pétrolière ? BP “Deepwater Horizon” from the Gulf of Mexico to Africa : a turning point for the Oil Industry ?

    OpenAIRE

    Géraud Magrin; Bopp van Dessel

    2010-01-01

    L’explosion de la plateforme BP Deepwater Horizon du 20 avril 2010 constitue une des plus graves pollutions pétrolières de l’histoire. Sa localisation dans les eaux du premier consommateur mondial, et l’implication d’une des compagnies les plus avancées en matière de responsabilité sociale d’entreprise, sont révélatrices des enjeux actuels de la gestion environnementale des risques pétroliers. Alors que les gisements les plus accessibles sont exploités par des sociétés nationales, les compagn...

  1. Experimental microcosm study of the effects of Deepwater Horizon MC-252 oil on the geochemistry and microbiology of Gulf Coast sediment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Donahoe, R. J.; Bej, A.; Raulerson, A.; Rentschler, E. K.

    2011-12-01

    Microcosm experiments were conducted to examine the impact of oil contamination on Gulf Coast sediment geochemistry and microbial population dynamics. Coastal sediment and seawater were collected from a salt marsh at Bayou la Batre, Alabama, which was not severely impacted by the BP Deepwater Horizon accident of April 2010. Sediment/seawater microcosms were set up in glass jars combusted for 5 hours at 450 degrees C. Non-sterile microcosms spiked with 500 ppm of MC-252 oil were sacrificed in duplicate at various time intervals over a 14 day period to establish a data time series. Sterile controls with and without oil and a non-sterile control without oil were sacrificed in duplicate at 14 days for comparison with the time-series experiments. Solid and aqueous phases were separated by centrifugation and prepared for analysis. Sediment mineralogy was determined using X-ray diffraction and acid-extractable sediment chemistry determined using EPA Method 3051A and ICP-OES analysis. The aqueous phase chemistry was analyzed by ICP-OES and ion chromatography. The mineralogy of the salt marsh sediment is predominantly quartz, but includes reactive phases such as clays (smectite, illite), feldspar, and iron oxide. Iron-bearing clays and iron oxides can serve as electron acceptors for the growth of Fe(III)-reducing bacteria. Microwave digestions of the microcosm substrate samples were performed in triplicate and show no significant variation in major element chemistry over the course of the two week experiment, suggesting that observed temporal trends in aqueous geochemistry may be due to ion exchange processes, rather than mineral dissolution reactions. Microcosm substrate trace element data which indicate possible differences with time are being analyzed for statistical significance. Analysis of aqueous solution geochemistry reveals several interesting temporal trends. Iron and manganese were released to solution after 2 days, suggesting the presence of facultative

  2. Historic Shipwrecks as Ecosystem Monitoring Platforms in the Wake of Deepwater Horizon? Results of the Gulf of Mexico Shipwreck Corrosion, Hydrocarbon Exposure, Microbiology, and Archaeology (GOM-SCHEMA) Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Damour, M.; Hamdan, L. J.; Salerno, J. L.; McGown, C.; Blackwell, C. A.; Church, R.; Warren, D.; Horrell, C.; Jordan, B.; Moore, J.

    2016-02-01

    Historic shipwrecks and other archaeological sites are protected by a well-established body of historic preservation laws intended to preserve these sensitive, non-renewable resources. While the cultural, historical, and archaeological value of historic shipwrecks is unequivocal, their function and value as ecosystem monitoring platforms following a major environmental disaster is becoming apparent. Shipwrecks have been found in previous studies to serve as artificial reefs and hotspots of biodiversity, essentially providing the basis for an intact ecosystem. This is especially true in the deepwater marine environment where natural hard-bottom is sparse. Micro- and macro-infaunal diversity on shipwrecks and their sensitivity to environmental change demonstrates the suitability of these platforms for monitoring ecosystem impact and recovery. After the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) and partners initiated a multidisciplinary study to examine spill effects on shipwrecks and their associated microbial communities. To assess these impacts and to perform comparative analyses, the team collected microbiological, geochemical, and archaeological data at wooden- and metal-hulled shipwrecks within and outside of the subsurface spill-impacted area. Microbial community biodiversity informs us of micro-scale changes while 3D laser and sonar data reveal macro-scale changes. A multidisciplinary approach informs us of the roles microorganisms have in shipwreck degradation and corrosion as well as their response to ecosystem impacts. Results of the study identified multiple lines of evidence that sites were impacted by exposure to spill-related contaminants. Future multidisciplinary studies at these sites, as part of a long-term monitoring program, should inform on ecosystem recovery.

  3. BP « Deepwater Horizon » du Golfe du Mexique à l’Afrique : un tournant pour l’industrie pétrolière ? BP “Deepwater Horizon” from the Gulf of Mexico to Africa : a turning point for the Oil Industry ?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Géraud Magrin

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available L’explosion de la plateforme BP Deepwater Horizon du 20 avril 2010 constitue une des plus graves pollutions pétrolières de l’histoire. Sa localisation dans les eaux du premier consommateur mondial, et l’implication d’une des compagnies les plus avancées en matière de responsabilité sociale d’entreprise, sont révélatrices des enjeux actuels de la gestion environnementale des risques pétroliers. Alors que les gisements les plus accessibles sont exploités par des sociétés nationales, les compagnies internationales satisfont l’inextinguible demande en pétrole du système mondial en explorant des situations extrêmes, comme les eaux très profondes. Cela s’accompagne de risques croissants. La catastrophe de BP nous montre le danger de considérer un risque infime comme une absence de risque : l’exemption de planification d’urgence explique la longue durée et l’ampleur de la fuite. Elle rappelle aussi que les impacts du pétrole ne sont bien connus qu’à la surface et le long des côtes : or, cette fuite en eaux profondes causera des dommages écologiques graves dans les zones pélagiques. Cet événement changera les règles du jeu de la régulation environnementale pétrolière dans les zones sensibles. Nous donnons un aperçu des évolutions qu’il pourrait favoriser en Afrique, notamment en Mauritanie. Il reste à savoir si l’augmentation des coûts qui en résultera contribuera à accélérer la transition énergétique mondiale hors de la dépendance des hydrocarbures.On Thursday the 20th april 2010, the blowout of the Deepwater Horizon drilling platform operated by BP in the Gulf of Mexico starts what can be considered one of the major oil spills in the world history. Taking place in the national waters of the world’s first oil consumer and affecting one of the more advanced oil major in Corporate Social Responsibility, this accident may turn out to be a land mark for environmental management in the

  4. Chemical and histological comparisons between Brevoortia sp. (menhaden) collected in fall 2010 from Barataria Bay, LA and Delaware Bay, NJ following the DeepWater Horizon (DWH) oil spill.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bentivegna, Carolyn S; Cooper, Keith R; Olson, Gregory; Pena, Edwin A; Millemann, Daniel R; Portier, Ralph J

    2015-12-01

    Body burdens of PAHs were compared to histological effects in menhaden (Family: Clupeidae, Genus: Brevoortia) collected in fall 2010 from Barataria Bay, LA (BBLA) and Delaware Bay, NJ (DBNJ). Barataria Bay was heavily oiled during the DeepWater Horizon (DWH) oil spill, while Delaware Bay although urbanized had no reported recent oil spills. GCMS analyses of pre-spill 2009, BBLA and DBNJ fish found predominantly C2/C3 phenanthrene (1.28-6.52 ng/mg). However, BBLA also contained five higher molecular weight PAHs (0.06-0.34 ng/mg DW). Fluorescent aromatic compound spectroscopy (FACS) of gastrointestinal (GI) tract tissue showed statistically higher levels of hydroxypyrene-like PAHs in DBNJ than BBLA fish. Histopathologic lesions were more prevalent in BBLA than DBNJ fish. The lesion prevalence (gill, trunk kidney, epidermis, stomach) in the BBLA menhaden were significantly higher and more severe than observed in the DBNJ menhaden. Reversible lesions included gill lamellar hyperplasia, adhesions, edema, and epidermal hyperplasia. The increased pigmented macrophage centers were indicative of activated macrophages responding to connective tissue damage or other antigens. The liver hepatic necrosis and renal tissue mineralization may well have undergone repair, but damage to the kidney nephrons and hepatic/biliary regions of the liver would be slower to resolve and apparently remained after elimination of PAHs. Therefore, a direct cause and effect between DWH oil spill and increased lesion prevalence in BBLA menhaden could not be established.

  5. Evidence That the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Caused Changes in Seasonal Mean Trace Metal Concentrations in Bottom Sediment Retrieved from the Eastern Outer Continental Shelf (OCS), Gulf of Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steffy, D. A.; Nichols, A.; Morgan, J.

    2014-12-01

    Higher nickel, vanadium, and lead concentrations measured in sea bottom sediment of the eastern OCS can be explained by the presence of a new source for these metals from the damaged Mconco Well which resulted in the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill during the spring of 2010. Sixty-five sediment samples were collected during the fall months for the years 2008-2011 from the eastern OCS. The Tukey range test was used to compare six metal concentrations between the relict sand deposits of the northern Gulf OCS to the relict carbonate sediments off of western Florida OCS. Tests indicated that nickel, vanadium, and lead were significantly higher (p < 0.05) in the seasonal mean concentrations in the relict sand deposits. These higher concentrations are also reflected in the vanadium to nickel ratio being statistically different (p < 0.005) for carbonate sediment (1.70 ± 0.24) when compared to relict sand (0.96 ± 0.12) in the north, which is closer to the damaged well. This difference indicates a new source of nickel that accumulated through time in the north. In the carbonate sediment there appears a zonation of the ratios with a dependency on water depth. The V/Ni ratio is 0.80 ± 0.10 for samples taken in water depths at or deeper than 200 m; and ratios are 2.06 ±0.42 for samples taken in water depths shallower than 200 m.

  6. Application of a hydrodynamic and sediment transport model for guidance of response efforts related to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Northern Gulf of Mexico along the coast of Alabama and Florida

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plant, Nathaniel G.; Long, Joseph W.; Dalyander, P. Soupy; Thompson, David M.; Raabe, Ellen A.

    2013-01-01

    U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) scientists have provided a model-based assessment of transport and deposition of residual Deepwater Horizon oil along the shoreline within the northern Gulf of Mexico in the form of mixtures of sand and weathered oil, known as surface residual balls (SRBs). The results of this USGS research, in combination with results from other components of the overall study, will inform operational decisionmaking. The results will provide guidance for response activities and data collection needs during future oil spills. In May 2012 the U.S. Coast Guard, acting as the Deepwater Horizon Federal on-scene coordinator, chartered an operational science advisory team to provide a science-based review of data collected and to conduct additional directed studies and sampling. The goal was to characterize typical shoreline profiles and morphology in the northern Gulf of Mexico to identify likely sources of residual oil and to evaluate mechanisms whereby reoiling phenomena may be occurring (for example, burial and exhumation and alongshore transport). A steering committee cochaired by British Petroleum Corporation (BP) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is overseeing the project and includes State on-scene coordinators from four States (Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, and Mississippi), trustees of the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI), and representatives from the U.S. Coast Guard. This report presents the results of hydrodynamic and sediment transport models and developed techniques for analyzing potential SRB movement and burial and exhumation along the coastline of Alabama and Florida. Results from these modeling efforts are being used to explain the complexity of reoiling in the nearshore environment and to broaden consideration of the different scenarios and difficulties that are being faced in identifying and removing residual oil. For instance, modeling results suggest that larger SRBs are not, under the most commonly

  7. Occurrence and biogeography of hydroids (Cnidaria: Hydrozoa) from deep-water coral habitats off the southeastern United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henry, Lea-Anne; Nizinski, Martha S.; Ross, Steve W.

    2008-06-01

    Deep-water coral habitats off the southeastern USA (SEUS) support diverse fish and invertebrate assemblages, but are poorly explored. This study is the first to report on the hydroids collected from these habitats in this area. Thirty-five species, including two species that are likely new to science, were identified from samples collected primarily by manned submersible during 2001-2005 from deep-water coral habitats off North Carolina to east-central Florida. Eleven of the species had not been reported since the 19th to mid-20th century. Ten species, and one family, the Rosalindidae, are documented for the first time in the SEUS. Latitudinal ranges of 15 species are extended, and the deepest records in the western North Atlantic for 10 species are reported. A species accumulation curve illustrated that we continue to add to our knowledge of hydroid diversity in these habitats. Sexually mature individuals were collected for 19 species during the summer to early autumn months. Most of the observed species (89%) liberate planula larvae as part of their life cycles, suggesting that these species exhibit a reproductive strategy that reduces the risk of dispersal to sub-optimal habitats. Hydroids occurred across various substrata including coral rubble, live corals, rock and other animal hosts including hydroids themselves. All observed species were regionally widespread with typically deep-neritic to bathyal sub-tropical/tropical distributions. Hydroid assemblages from deep-water SEUS coral habitats were most similar to those from adjacent deep-water habitats off the SEUS (17 shared species), and those in the Straits of Florida/Bahamas and Caribbean/West Indian regions (14 and 8 shared species, respectively). The similarity to sub-tropical and tropical assemblages and the richness of plumularioids in the SEUS deep-water coral habitats support the idea of a Pleistocene intrusion of tropical species northwards following an intensification of the Gulf Stream from the

  8. Chemical, physical and profile oceanographic data collected aboard the PELICAN in the Gulf of Mexico from 2010-05-10 to 2010-07-21 in response to the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill event (NODC Accession 0069087)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Chemical, physical and profile oceanographic data were collected aboard the PELICAN in the Gulf of Mexico from 2010-05-10 to 2010-07-21 in response to the Deepwater...

  9. Physical and profile oceanographic data collected aboard the WEATHERBIRD II in the Gulf of Mexico from 2010-05-22 to 2010-05-27 in response to the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill event (NODC Accession 0084597)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Physical and profile oceanographic data were collected aboard the WEATHERBIRD II in the Gulf of Mexico from 2010-05-22 to 2010-05-27 in response to the Deepwater...

  10. Chemical and physical oceanographic profile data collected from CTD casts aboard the Arctic in the Gulf of Mexico from 2010-09-09 to 2010-09-14 in response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill event (NODC Accession 0068955)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Chemical and physical oceanographic profile data were collected aboard the Arctic in the Gulf of Mexico from 2010-09-09 to 2010-09-14 in response to the Deepwater...

  11. HORIZON SENSING

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Larry G. Stolarczyk

    2003-03-18

    With the aid of a DOE grant (No. DE-FC26-01NT41050), Stolar Research Corporation (Stolar) developed the Horizon Sensor (HS) to distinguish between the different layers of a coal seam. Mounted on mining machine cutter drums, HS units can detect or sense the horizon between the coal seam and the roof and floor rock, providing the opportunity to accurately mine the section of the seam most desired. HS also enables accurate cutting of minimum height if that is the operator's objective. Often when cutting is done out-of-seam, the head-positioning function facilitates a fixed mining height to minimize dilution. With this technology, miners can still be at a remote location, yet cut only the clean coal, resulting in a much more efficient overall process. The objectives of this project were to demonstrate the feasibility of horizon sensing on mining machines and demonstrate that Horizon Sensing can allow coal to be cut cleaner and more efficiently. Stolar's primary goal was to develop the Horizon Sensor (HS) into an enabling technology for full or partial automation or ''agile mining''. This technical innovation (R&D 100 Award Winner) is quickly demonstrating improvements in productivity and miner safety at several prominent coal mines in the United States. In addition, the HS system can enable the cutting of cleaner coal. Stolar has driven the HS program on the philosophy that cutting cleaner coal means burning cleaner coal. The sensor, located inches from the cutting bits, is based upon the physics principles of a Resonant Microstrip Patch Antenna (RMPA). When it is in proximity of the rock-coal interface, the RMPA impedance varies depending on the thickness of uncut coal. The impedance is measured by the computer-controlled electronics and then sent by radio waves to the mining machine. The worker at the machine can read the data via a Graphical User Interface, displaying a color-coded image of the coal being cut, and direct the machine

  12. Determination of the anionic surfactant di(ethylhexyl) sodium sulfosuccinate in water samples collected from Gulf of Mexico coastal waters before and after landfall of oil from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, May to October, 2010

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gray, James L.; Kanagy, Leslie K.; Furlong, Edward T.; McCoy, Jeff W.; Kanagy, Chris J.

    2011-01-01

    On April 22, 2010, the explosion on and subsequent sinking of the Deepwater Horizon oil drilling platform resulted in the release of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico. At least 4.4 million barrels had been released into the Gulf of Mexico through July 15, 2010, 10 to 29 percent of which was chemically dispersed, primarily using two dispersant formulations. Initially, the dispersant Corexit 9527 was used, and when existing stocks of that formulation were exhausted, Corexit 9500 was used. Over 1.8 million gallons of the two dispersants were applied in the first 3 months after the spill. This report presents the development of an analytical method to analyze one of the primary surfactant components of both Corexit formulations, di(ethylhexyl) sodium sulfosuccinate (DOSS), the preliminary results, and the associated quality assurance/quality control (QA/QC) from samples collected from various points on the Gulf Coast between Texas and Florida. Seventy water samples and 8 field QC samples were collected before the predicted landfall of oil (pre-landfall) on the Gulf Coast, and 51 water samples and 10 field QC samples after the oil made landfall (post-landfall). Samples were collected in Teflon(Registered) bottles and stored at -20(degrees)C until analysis. Extraction of whole-water samples used sorption onto a polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) filter to isolate DOSS, with subsequent 50 percent methanol/water elution of the combined dissolved and particulate DOSS fractions. High-performance liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry (LC/MS/MS) was used to identify and quantify DOSS by the isotope dilution method, using a custom-synthesized 13C4-DOSS labeled standard. Because of the ubiquitous presence of DOSS in laboratory reagent water, a chromatographic column was installed in the LC/MS/MS between the system pumps and the sample injector that separated this ambient background DOSS contamination from the sample DOSS, minimizing one source of blank contamination

  13. Physical and profile oceanographic data collected aboard the Brooks McCall in the Gulf of Mexico from 2010-08-29 to 2010-09-02 in response to the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill event (NODC Accession 0084589)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Physical and profile oceanographic data were collected aboard the Brooks McCall in the Gulf of Mexico from 2010-08-29 to 2010-09-02 in response to the Deepwater...

  14. Physical and profile oceanographic data collected aboard NOAA Ship DELAWARE II in the Gulf of Mexico from 2010-06-26 to 2010-07-08 in response to the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill event (NCEI Accession 0084591)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Physical and profile oceanographic data were collected aboard NOAA Ship DELAWARE II in the Gulf of Mexico from 2010-06-26 to 2010-07-08 in response to the Deepwater...

  15. Physical and profile oceanographic data collected aboard the Brooks McCall in the Gulf of Mexico from 2010-09-02 to 2010-09-06 in response to the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill event (NODC Accession 0084590)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Physical and profile oceanographic data were collected aboard the Brooks McCall in the Gulf of Mexico from 2010-09-02 to 2010-09-06 in response to the Deepwater...

  16. Deepwater subsea development

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Halvorsen, T. [Kongsberg Offshore A/S, (Norway)

    1996-12-31

    The conventional challenges when going from shallow to deep water, where this means depth in excess of 2.000 metres, have been related to floater technology, mooring technology and riser technology as well as the additional complications related to the difference in environmental conditions. Deepwater field developments are not only facing a challenge related to increased water depth, but this combined with increased reservoir complexity, drainage requirements and better control over the production process. This paper discusses themes like deepwater field configurations, deepwater completion, deepwater control systems, fluid processing and transportation, deepwater riser system, and installation and intervention. 8 figs.

  17. Determining Which Dispersants Will Be Effective In Future Deepwater Oil Spills

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deepwater spills result in oil distributed from deep in the water column to the water surface. The objective of this study was to test eight of the available dispersants (including Corexit 9500A, which was used extensively on the 2010 Deepwater Horizon Spill) on South Louisiana C...

  18. Scale and construal: how larger measurement units shrink length estimates and expand mental horizons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maglio, Sam J; Trope, Yaacov

    2011-02-01

    Scale can vary by requiring a different number of units to measure the same target. But what are the consequences of using fewer, larger units? We draw on past psychophysical research that shows how using fewer units reduces clutter in measurement, translating to shorter length estimates. Additionally, we propose that larger scale is associated with targets further from a person's immediate experience (i.e., psychologically distant) and higher order mental representation. Evidence from Study 1 indicates that framing a target as further away causes it to be estimated as shorter because people use larger units to measure it compared to when the same target is framed as nearby. Two subsequent studies suggest that direct manipulation of larger (versus smaller) measurement scale produces not only shorter length estimates, but also more distal timing judgments (Study 2) and abstract mental representation (Study 3). Implications for scale and level of mental construal are discussed.

  19. Multi-unit Integration in Microfluidic Processes: Current Status and Future Horizons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pratap R. Patnaik

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available Microfluidic processes, mainly for biological and chemical applications, have expanded rapidly in recent years. While the initial focus was on single units, principally microreactors, technological and economic considerations have caused a shift to integrated microchips in which a number of microdevices function coherently. These integrated devices have many advantages over conventional macro-scale processes. However, the small scale of operation, complexities in the underlying physics and chemistry, and differences in the time constants of the participating units, in the interactions among them and in the outputs of interest make it difficult to design and optimize integrated microprocesses. These aspects are discussed here, current research and applications are reviewed, and possible future directions are considered.

  20. Southern deepwater swamps

    Science.gov (United States)

    William H. Conner; Marilyn A. Buford

    1998-01-01

    The authors define, classify, and analyze the economic significance of southern deepwater swamps. They discuss the physical environment, vegetational communities, animal communities, management issues, and research needs for this complex resource.

  1. Horizon measures

    KAUST Repository

    Zhang, Eugene

    2016-11-28

    In this paper we seek to answer the following question: where do contour lines and visible contour lines (silhouette) tend to occur in a 3D surface. Our study leads to two novel shape descriptors, the horizon measure and the visible horizon measure, which we apply to the visualization of 3D shapes including archeological artifacts. In addition to introducing the shape descriptors, we also provide a closed-form formula for the horizon measure based on classical spherical geometry. To compute the visible horizon measure, which depends on the exact computation of the surface visibility function, we instead of provide an image-based approach which can process a model with high complexity within a few minutes.

  2. 墨西哥湾“深水地平线”溢油事故对当地渔业的影响及对我国渔业的启示%Impacts of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill on Local Fishery in the Gulf of Mexico and Its Enlightenments to Chinese Fishery

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    黄瑛; 李应仁; 沈公铭; 罗建波

    2013-01-01

    2010年4月美国墨西哥湾“深水地平线”溢油事故对渔业和海洋生态造成了巨大影响。依据《石油污染法案》,凭借完善的应急体系,美国较成功地完成了污染事故的应急处理和损失赔偿工作,并开展了一系列的研究和修复计划,保障了个人和国家利益。综述了美国墨西哥湾“深水地平线”溢油事故对当地渔业的影响,以及美国在渔业相关产业损失的赔偿与资助、渔业资源损失的评估与修复工作中的成功做法与经验,并对我国溢油污染事故渔业损害处理工作提出了相关建议。%The Deepwater Horizon oil spill in April, 2010 caused significant harm to the fishery and marine eco-system in the Gulf of Mexico. Based on the Oil Pollution Act and its sound emergency system, America successfully accomplished the emergency treatment and financial compensation of the oil spill accident and conducted a series of researches and restoration plans to guarantee the interests of citizens and the country. This review summarized the impacts of the oil spill on the fishery in the Gulf of Mexico, the financial compensation and assistance on fishery industry, and successful experiences about the fishery resource damage assessment and restoration. Several advices for the management of fishery pollution accident treatment in China were given.

  3. Norwegian Deepwater Programme; Norwegian deepwater program

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Melling, Kristian [Statoil, Stavanger (Norway)

    1999-07-01

    This presentation describes in some detail the Norwegian Deepwater Programme (NDP), its use as a cooperation model, current projects and plans, and further perspectives. The conclusions are: (1) On cost-effectiveness: double work avoided, coordinated and joint operations substantially save cost; (2) On the dialog between parties: a high degree of openness and transfer of experience, good relations between colleges and cooperation with external institutions; (3) On participating companies and personnel: increased competence and knowledge, improved communication between the companies involved, personal relations; (4) On participating licenses: very useful database for further work, reduced working load and costs.

  4. Horizon Scanning for Pharmaceuticals

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lepage-Nefkens, Isabelle; Douw, Karla; Mantjes, GertJan

    will collect country-specific information, liaise between the central HS unit and country-specific clinical and other experts, coordinate the national prioritization process (to select products for early assessment), and communicate the output of the HSS to national decision makers.  The outputs of the joint...... for a joint horizon scanning system (HSS).  We propose to create a central “horizon scanning unit” to perform the joint HS activities (a newly established unit, an existing HS unit, or a third party commissioned and financed by the collaborating countries). The unit will be responsible for the identification...... and filtration of new and emerging pharmaceutical products. It will maintain and update the HS database, organise company pipeline meetings, and disseminate the HSS’s outputs.  The HS unit works closely together with the designated national HS experts in each collaborating country. The national HS experts...

  5. Stringy horizons

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Giveon, Amit [Racah Institute of Physics, The Hebrew University,Jerusalem 91904 (Israel); Itzhaki, Nissan [Physics Department, Tel-Aviv University,Ramat-Aviv, 69978 (Israel); Kutasov, David [EFI and Department of Physics, University of Chicago,5640 S. Ellis Av., Chicago, IL 60637 (United States)

    2015-06-11

    We argue that classical (α{sup ′}) effects qualitatively modify the structure of Euclidean black hole horizons in string theory. While low energy modes experience the geometry familiar from general relativity, high energy ones see a rather different geometry, in which the Euclidean horizon can be penetrated by an amount that grows with the radial momentum of the probe. We discuss this in the exactly solvable SL(2,ℝ)/U(1) black hole, where it is a manifestation of the black hole/Sine-Liouville duality.

  6. Killing Horizons Kill Horizon Degrees

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bergamin, L.; Grumiller, D.

    Frequently, it is argued that the microstates responsible for the Bekenstein-Hawking entropy should arise from some physical degrees of freedom located near or on the black hole horizon. In this essay, we elucidate that instead entropy may emerge from the conversion of physical degrees of freedom, attached to a generic boundary, into unobservable gauge degrees of freedom attached to the horizon. By constructing the reduced phase space, it can be demonstrated that such a transmutation indeed takes place for a large class of black holes, including Schwarzschild.

  7. Killing horizons kill horizon degrees

    CERN Document Server

    Bergamin, L

    2006-01-01

    Frequently it is argued that the microstates responsible for the Bekenstein-Hawking entropy should arise from some physical degrees of freedom located near or on the black hole horizon. In this Essay we elucidate that instead entropy may emerge from the conversion of physical degrees of freedom, attached to a generic boundary, into unobservable gauge degrees of freedom attached to the horizon. By constructing the reduced phase space it can be demonstrated that such a transmutation indeed takes place for a large class of black holes, including Schwarzschild.

  8. Lessons on corporate "sustainability" disclosure from Deepwater Horizon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewis, Sanford

    2011-01-01

    The BP oil spill highlighted shortcomings of current financial and sustainability reporting standards and practice. "Integrated reporting" aims to combine financial and social/environmental information into a single annual corporate report. But without more stringent standards, integrated reports would neglect substantial risks and, as BP's sustainability reports demonstrate, create false impressions of good practice.To be of value, integration must: 1. Require timely disclosure of enforcement notices, orders and allegations issued by regulators. 2. Require disclosure of credible scientific reports and concerns indicative of potentially catastrophic risks of a company's products and activities, regardless of scientific uncertainty. 3. Require review and disclosures of a firm's safety culture. 4. Require disclosure of any facts or circumstances needed to ensure that the management's self-portrait of its sustainability strategies, goals and progress is not materially misleading.In conducting its misleading reporting, BP largely followed Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) guidelines. GRI is soliciting input, beginning in summer 2011, on how to revise those guidelines. Since GRI may prove a leading source for sustainability disclosure rules in integrating reporting, lessons learned from the BP experience must be applied to the next GRI revisions.

  9. Deepwater Horizon MC252 - Oil Spill: Oil Trajectories Maps

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Trajectory maps are produced using GNOME (General NOAA Operational Modeling Environment), which is an oil spill trajectory model developed by OR and academic...

  10. Submesoscale Dispersion in the Vicinity of the Deepwater Horizon Spill

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-09-02

    dental oil spill into marine waters in history with some 4.4 million barrels released into the DeSoto Canyon of the northern Gulf of Mexico (GoM) from...surface dispersion in the DeSoto Canyon region remain unclear. The region lies between the mesoscale eddy-driven deep water GoM (7) and the wind- driven...during the period of July 20 to July 31, 2012; during the same season as the Fig. 1. Multiscale flows near the DwH and DeSoto Canyon region. (A

  11. Safety design of DP system for deepwater drilling units-lessons learned from position loss accidents%从移位事故谈深水钻井平台动力定位系统的安全设计

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    刘潇; 冯舒

    2014-01-01

    移位风险是动力定位钻井平台作业过程中面临的主要风险之一,对动力定位平台移位事故进行系统的统计与分析,是识别风险、提高动力定位系统可靠性的重要手段。文中通过对国际海事承包商协会(IMCA)最新发布的钻井平台移位事故进行分析,重点讨论了深水钻井平台动力定位系统安全设计中应关注的几个关键点。%Position loss is one of the main risks during the operation of DP drilling units. The systematic statistics and analysis of the position loss accidents of DP drilling units are an important method to identify risk and improve the reliability of DP system. This paper analyzes the accidents published by IMCA, and discusses several key aspects of the safety design of DP system for the deepwater drilling units.

  12. Chemical and physical oceanographic profile data collected from CTD casts aboard the JACK FITZ in the Gulf of Mexico from 2010-05-22 to 2010-05-31 in response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill event (NODC Accession 0069073)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Chemical and physical oceanographic profile data were collected aboard the JACK FITZ in the Gulf of Mexico from 2010-05-22 to 2010-05-31 in response to the Deepwater...

  13. Chemical and physical oceanographic profile data collected from CTD casts aboard the HOS Davis in the Gulf of Mexico from 2010-09-09 to 2010-09-27 in response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill event (NODC Accession 0069071)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Chemical and physical oceanographic profile data were collected aboard the HOS Davis in the Gulf of Mexico from 2010-09-09 to 2010-09-27 in response to the Deepwater...

  14. Chemical and physical oceanographic profile data collected from CTD casts aboard the JACK FITZ in the Gulf of Mexico from 2010-09-04 to 2010-09-12 in response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill event (NODC Accession 0069075)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Chemical and physical oceanographic profile data were collected aboard the JACK FITZ in the Gulf of Mexico from 2010-09-04 to 2010-09-12 in response to the Deepwater...

  15. Chemical and physical oceanographic profile data collected from CTD casts aboard the JACK FITZ in the Gulf of Mexico from 2010-05-10 to 2010-05-13 in response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill event (NODC Accession 0069072)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Chemical and physical oceanographic profile data were collected aboard the JACK FITZ in the Gulf of Mexico from 2010-05-10 to 2010-05-13 in response to the Deepwater...

  16. Chemical and physical oceanographic profile data collected from CTD casts aboard the HOS Davis in the Gulf of Mexico from 2010-08-13 to 2010-08-22 in response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill event (NODC Accession 0069069)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Chemical and physical oceanographic profile data were collected aboard the HOS Davis in the Gulf of Mexico from 2010-08-13 to 2010-08-22 in response to the Deepwater...

  17. Chemical and physical oceanographic profile data collected from CTD casts aboard the HOS Davis in the Gulf of Mexico from 2010-08-26 to 2010-09-03 in response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill event (NODC Accession 0069070)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Chemical and physical oceanographic profile data were collected aboard the HOS Davis in the Gulf of Mexico from 2010-08-26 to 2010-09-03 in response to the Deepwater...

  18. Offshore Deepwater Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) Ports ...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-04-10

    EPA received three National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit applications for wastewater discharges related to the construction and operation of deepwater LNG ports in state and federal waters of Massachusetts Bay. One was for construction-related discharges associated with the Northeast Gateway LNG deepwater port, one was for operations-related discharges associated with the Northeast Gateway LNG deepwater port, and the other was for both construction-related and operations-related discharges for the Neptune LNG deepwater port.

  19. New Horizons for Hydrogen: Producing Hydrogen from Renewable Resources

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    2011-02-01

    Recent events have reminded us of the critical need to transition from crude oil, coal, and natural gas toward sustainable and domestic sources of energy. One reason is we need to strengthen our economy. In 2008 we saw the price of oil reach a record $93 per barrel. With higher oil prices, growing demand for gasoline, and increasing oil imports, an average of $235 billion per year, has left the United States economy to pay for foreign oil since 2005, or $1.2 trillion between 2005 and 2009. From a consumer perspective, this trend is seen with an average gasoline price of $2.50 per gallon since 2005, compared to an average of $1.60 between 1990 and 2004 (after adjusting for inflation). In addition to economic impacts, continued reliance on fossil fuels increases greenhouse gas emissions that may cause climate change, health impacts from air pollution, and the risk of disasters such as the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Energy efficiency in the form of more efficient vehicles and buildings can help to reduce some of these impacts. However, over the long term we must shift from fossil resources to sustainable and renewable energy sources.

  20. Introduction of CMCD in Deepwater

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Zhou Chuan; Li Shanyun; Zhang Haikuan; Wang Yanfeng; Chi Yu; Xie Li

    2009-01-01

    @@ Overview of CMCD CMCD here refers to the one of Manage Pressure Drilling (MPD). Application of CMCD in deepwater is closely related with the development of marine riser and subsea BOE LRRS includes high pressure marine riser,split BOP and mud-lift pump. CMCD can achieve the control of bottom hole pressure efficiently through LRRS.CMCD. with LRRS has some distinguished advantages in deepwater drilling such as reduction of platform load,precise control of bottom hole pressure and simplification of casing program, etc.

  1. Characterization of the Particulate Emissions from the BP Deepwell Horizon Spill Surface Oil Burns

    Science.gov (United States)

    A particle sample gathered from the plume of the purposely-burned surface oil during the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico was analyzed for polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), organic acids, organic carbon (OC), elemental carbon (EC), metals, and chloro-org...

  2. Restoration methods for deepwater swamps

    Science.gov (United States)

    William H. Conner; Kenneth W. McLeod; Ellen Colodney

    2000-01-01

    Planting in deepwater swamp areas is difficult and time consuming, and nursery-grown seedlings are often not suited for such conditions. Baldcypress [Taxodium distichum (L.) Rich.], water tupelo (Nyssa aquatica L.), swamp blackgum [N. sylvatica var. biflora (Walt.) Sarg.], and green ash (

  3. Revisiting Vaidya Horizons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alex B. Nielsen

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available In this study, we located and compared different types of horizons in the spherically symmetric Vaidya solution. The horizons we found were trapping horizons, which can be null, timelike, or spacelike, null surfaces with constant area change and also conformal Killing horizons. The conformal Killing horizons only exist for certain choices of the mass function. Under a conformal transformation, the conformal Killing horizons can be mapped into true Killing horizons. This allows conclusions drawn in the dynamical Vaidya spacetime to be related to known properties of static spacetimes. We found the conformal factor that performs this transformation and wrote the new metric in explicitly static coordinates. Using this construction we found that the tunneling argument for Hawking radiation does not umabiguously support Hawking radiation being associated with the trapping horizon. We also used this transformation to derive the form of the surface gravity for a class of physical observers in Vaidya spacetimes.

  4. Complexity Near Horizons

    CERN Document Server

    Halyo, Edi

    2015-01-01

    We generalize the concept of complexity near horizons to all nondegenerate black holes. For Schwarzschild black holes, we show that Rindler observers see a complexity change of $S$ during proper time $1/\\kappa$ which corresponds to the creation of a causal patch with proper length $1/\\kappa$ inside the horizon. We attempt to describe complexity in the horizon CFT and the Euclidean picture.

  5. "Nowhere" differentiable horizons

    CERN Document Server

    Chrúsciel, P T

    1996-01-01

    It is folklore knowledge amongst general relativists that horizons are well behaved, continuously differentiable hypersurfaces except perhaps on a negligible subset one needs not to bother with. We show that this is not the case, by constructing a Cauchy horizon, as well as a black hole event horizon, which contain no open subset on which they are differentiable.

  6. 78 FR 36014 - Deepwater Port License Application: Liberty Natural Gas, LLC, Port Ambrose Deepwater Port

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-06-14

    ... an application for the licensing of a liquefied natural gas deepwater port and that the application..., and operate a liquefied natural gas (LNG) deepwater port, known as Port Ambrose, located in the New... Maritime Administration Deepwater Port License Application: Liberty Natural Gas, LLC, Port...

  7. All eyes on the deepwater prize

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Shepherd, Richard

    2000-01-01

    This article focuses on the impact of the opportunity of deepwater oil on the production growth ambitions of oil companies. Details are given of the trend towards the spending of less money, drilling fewer wells, and developing fewer new fields by the larger oil companies to obtain the best available profit. The greening of oil with the growing awareness of environmental concerns and fuel efficiency aspects is considered. The global potential for deepwater oil production, the threat to deepwater economics of market pressures, and the dominant position of large companies in deepwater activities are discussed. (UK)

  8. Ultra-Deepwater Production Systems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ken L. Smith; Marc E. Leveque

    2005-05-31

    The report herein is a summary of the work performed on three projects to demonstrate hydrocarbon drilling and production methods applicable to deep and ultra deepwater field developments in the Gulf of Mexico and other like applications around the world. This work advances technology that could lead to more economic development and exploitation of reserves in ultra-deep water or remote areas. The first project is Subsea Processing. Its scope includes a review of the ''state of the art'' in subsea components to enable primary production process functions such as first stage liquids and gas separation, flow boosting, chemical treatment, flow metering, etc. These components are then combined to allow for the elimination of costly surface production facilities at the well site. A number of studies were then performed on proposed field development projects to validate the economic potential of this technology. The second project involved the design and testing of a light weight production riser made of composite material. The proposed design was to meet an actual Gulf of Mexico deepwater development project. The various engineering and testing work is reviewed, including test results. The third project described in this report encompasses the development and testing of a close tolerance liner drilling system, a new technology aimed at reducing deepwater drilling costs. The design and prototype testing in a test well are described in detail.

  9. Entropy of Causal Horizons

    CERN Document Server

    Howard, Eric M

    2016-01-01

    We analyze spacetimes with horizons and study the thermodynamic aspects of causal horizons, suggesting that the resemblance between gravitational and thermodynamic systems has a deeper quantum mechanical origin. We find that the observer dependence of such horizons is a direct consequence of associating a temperature and entropy to a spacetime. The geometrical picture of a horizon acting as a one-way membrane for information flow can be accepted as a natural interpretation of assigning a quantum field theory to a spacetime with boundary, ultimately leading to a close connection with thermodynamics.

  10. Ultra-Deepwater Production Systems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    K. L. Smith; M. E. Leveque

    2003-09-30

    This report includes technical progress made during the period October, 2002 through September, 2003. At the end of the second technical progress report, the ConocoPhillips opportunities to apply subsea processing in the Gulf of Mexico had been exhausted, and an alternative site was identified in Norway. This was a non-ConocoPhillips operated field, and the subsea processing was proposed as a phased development approach with 2-phase separation at the field, and then gas and liquids exported via pipeline to remote platform locations for processing. Although the unrisked economics were quite favorable, the risked economic evaluation compelled the operator to develop the field with the more conventional and proven Floating Production, Storage and Offloading (FPSO) option. Work on the subsea processing was suspended at this time. Discussions with DOE regarding two other step-change deepwater technologies ensued. One was an effort to develop a light-weight, high pressure composite production riser. A field demonstration of the design would then be performed by deploying a limited number of composite joints in a Gulf of Mexico deepwater development. The other was to begin the process of taking drilling with casing technology to the deepwater. This is called, ''close-tolerance liner drilling''. It was agreed that both technologies should be pursued, and the work began. During this reporting period, the initial production riser design had been completed and preliminary test sample components were being fabricated. Regarding the liner drilling, the sub-contractors were selected, the design basis was agreed and designs progressed towards meeting a projected first quarter, 2004 onshore test program.

  11. VMware horizon view essentials

    CERN Document Server

    von Oven, Peter

    2014-01-01

    If you are a desktop administrator or an end user of a computing project team looking to speed up to the latest VMware Horizon View solution, then this book is perfect for you. It is your ideal companion to deploy a solution to centrally manage and virtualize your desktop estate using Horizon View 6.0.

  12. Fuzziness at the horizon

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Batic, Davide, E-mail: dbatic@uniandes.edu.c [Departamento de Matematica, Universidad de los Andes, Cra 1E, No. 18A-10, Bogota, Colombia Department of Mathematics, University of West Indies, Kingston (Jamaica); Nicolini, Piero, E-mail: nicolini@th.physik.uni-frankfurt.d [Frankfurt Institute for Advanced Studies (FIAS), Institut fuer Theoretische Physik, Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universitaet, Ruth-Moufang-Strasse 1, 60438 Frankfurt am Main (Germany)

    2010-08-16

    We study the stability of the noncommutative Schwarzschild black hole interior by analysing the propagation of a massless scalar field between the two horizons. We show that the spacetime fuzziness triggered by the field higher momenta can cure the classical exponential blue-shift divergence, suppressing the emergence of infinite energy density in a region nearby the Cauchy horizon.

  13. Ultra-Deepwater Production Systems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    K. L. Smith; M. E. Leveque

    2004-09-30

    This report includes technical progress made during the period October, 2003 through September, 2004. At the end of the last technical progress report, the subsea processing aspects of the work program had been dropped due to the lack of commercial opportunity within ConocoPhillips, and the program had been redirected towards two other promising deepwater technologies: the development and demonstration of a composite production riser, and the development and testing of a close-tolerance liner drilling system. This report focuses on these two technologies.

  14. Anomaly corrected heterotic horizons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fontanella, A.; Gutowski, J. B.; Papadopoulos, G.

    2016-10-01

    We consider supersymmetric near-horizon geometries in heterotic supergravity up to two loop order in sigma model perturbation theory. We identify the conditions for the horizons to admit enhancement of supersymmetry. We show that solutions which undergo supersymmetry enhancement exhibit an {s}{l}(2,{R}) symmetry, and we describe the geometry of their horizon sections. We also prove a modified Lichnerowicz type theorem, incorporating α' corrections, which relates Killing spinors to zero modes of near-horizon Dirac operators. Furthermore, we demonstrate that there are no AdS2 solutions in heterotic supergravity up to second order in α' for which the fields are smooth and the internal space is smooth and compact without boundary. We investigate a class of nearly supersymmetric horizons, for which the gravitino Killing spinor equation is satisfied on the spatial cross sections but not the dilatino one, and present a description of their geometry.

  15. Anomaly Corrected Heterotic Horizons

    CERN Document Server

    Fontanella, A; Papadopoulos, G

    2016-01-01

    We consider supersymmetric near-horizon geometries in heterotic supergravity up to two loop order in sigma model perturbation theory. We identify the conditions for the horizons to admit enhancement of supersymmetry. We show that solutions which undergo supersymmetry enhancement exhibit an sl(2,R) symmetry, and we describe the geometry of their horizon sections. We also prove a modified Lichnerowicz type theorem, incorporating $\\alpha'$ corrections, which relates Killing spinors to zero modes of near-horizon Dirac operators. Furthermore, we demonstrate that there are no AdS2 solutions in heterotic supergravity up to second order in $\\alpha'$ for which the fields are smooth and the internal space is smooth and compact without boundary. We investigate a class of nearly supersymmetric horizons, for which the gravitino Killing spinor equation is satisfied on the spatial cross sections but not the dilatino one, and present a description of their geometry.

  16. Effect of O horizon and Forest Harvest Residue Manipulations on Soil Organic Matter Content and Composition of a Loblolly Pine Plantation in the Southeastern United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hatten, J.; Mack, J.; Dewey, J.; Sucre, E.; Leggett, Z.

    2012-04-01

    Forest harvest residues and forest floor materials are significant sources of mineral soil organic matter and nutrients for regenerating and establishing forests. Harvest residues in particular are occasionally removed, piled, or burned following harvesting. While the forest floor is never purposely removed during operational harvesting and site preparation, they could become in high demand as bioenergy markets develop. Weyerhaeuser Company established an experimental study to evaluate the effect of forest-floor manipulation on site productivity and soil carbon. This study was installed in a loblolly pine plantation near Millport, Alabama, USA on the Upper Gulf Coastal Plain to test both extremes from complete removal of harvest residues and forest floor to doubling of these materials. This study has been continuously monitored since its establishment in 1994. We have examined the effects of varying forest floor levels on the biomass, soil carbon content, and soil carbon composition in the context of these management activities. Above- and below-ground productivity, soil moisture, soil temperature, and nutrient dynamics have been related to soil organic carbon in mineral soil size/density fractionation and lignin and cutin biomarkers from the cupric oxide (CuO) oxidation technique. We have found that while removing litter and harvest residues has little effect on biomass production and soil carbon, importing litter and harvest residues increases forest productivity and soil carbon content. Interestingly, increased carbon was observed in all depths assessed (O horizon, 0-20, 20-40, and 40-60cm) suggesting that this practice may sequester organic carbon in deep soil horizons. Our biomarker analysis indicated that importing litter and harvest residues increased relative contributions from above ground sources at the 20-40cm depth and increased relative contributions from belowground sources at the 40-60cm depth. These results suggest that organic matter manipulations

  17. Gulf of Mexico Deepwater Bathymetry with Hillshade

    Data.gov (United States)

    Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Department of the Interior — Gulf of Mexico Depth Grid Cells derived from BOEM's seismic grid compilation. BOEM's deepwater Gulf of Mexico bathymetry grid. Created by mosaicing over 100 3D...

  18. The physiology of deep-water running.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reilly, Thomas; Dowzer, Clare N; Cable, N T

    2003-12-01

    Deep-water running is performed in the deep end of a swimming pool, normally with the aid of a flotation vest. The method is used for purposes of preventing injury and promoting recovery from strenuous exercise and as a form of supplementary training for cardiovascular fitness. Both stroke volume and cardiac output increase during water immersion: an increase in blood volume largely offsets the cardiac decelerating reflex at rest. At submaximal exercise intensities, blood lactate responses to exercise during deep-water running are elevated in comparison to treadmill running at a given oxygen uptake (VO2). While VO2, minute ventilation and heart rate are decreased under maximal exercise conditions in the water, deep-water running nevertheless can be justified as providing an adequate stimulus for cardiovascular training. Responses to training programmes have confirmed the efficacy of deep-water running, although positive responses are most evident when measured in a water-based test. Aerobic performance is maintained with deep-water running for up to 6 weeks in trained endurance athletes; sedentary individuals benefit more than athletes in improving maximal oxygen uptake. There is some limited evidence of improvement in anaerobic measures and in upper body strength in individuals engaging in deep-water running. A reduction in spinal loading constitutes a role for deep-water running in the prevention of injury, while an alleviation of muscle soreness confirms its value in recovery training. Further research into the applications of deep-water running to exercise therapy and athletes' training is recommended.

  19. 33 CFR 165.T01-0542 - Safety Zones: Neptune Deepwater Port, Atlantic Ocean, Boston, MA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... Port, Atlantic Ocean, Boston, MA. 165.T01-0542 Section 165.T01-0542 Navigation and Navigable Waters... Guard District § 165.T01-0542 Safety Zones: Neptune Deepwater Port, Atlantic Ocean, Boston, MA. (a) Location. The following areas are safety zones: All navigable waters of the United States within a...

  20. Dual-horizon Peridynamics

    CERN Document Server

    Ren, Huilong; Cai, Yongchang; Rabczuk, Timon

    2015-01-01

    In this paper we develop a new Peridynamic approach that naturally includes varying horizon sizes and completely solves the "ghost force" issue. Therefore, the concept of dual-horizon is introduced to consider the unbalanced interactions between the particles with different horizon sizes. The present formulation is proved to fulfill both the balances of linear momentum and angular momentum. Neither the "partial stress tensor" nor the "`slice" technique are needed to ameliorate the ghost force issue in \\cite{Silling2014}. The consistency of reaction forces is naturally fulfilled by a unified simple formulation. The method can be easily implemented to any existing peridynamics code with minimal changes. A simple adaptive refinement procedure is proposed minimizing the computational cost. The method is applied here to the three Peridynamic formulations, namely bond based, ordinary state based and non-ordinary state based Peridynamics. Both two- and three- dimensional examples including the Kalthof-Winkler experi...

  1. Evolving Horava Cosmological Horizons

    CERN Document Server

    Fathi, Mohsen

    2016-01-01

    Several sets of radially propagating null congruence generators are exploited in order to form 3-dimensional marginally trapped surfaces, referred to as black hole and cosmological apparent horizons in a Horava universe. Based on this method, we deal with the characteristics of the 2-dimensional space-like spheres of symmetry and the peculiarities of having trapping horizons. Moreover, we apply this method in standard expanding and contracting FLRW cosmological models of a Horava universe to investigate the conditions under which the extra parameters of the theory may lead to trapped/anti-trapped surfaces both in the future and in the past. We also include the cases of negative time, referred to as the finite past, and discuss the formation of anti-trapped surfaces inside the cosmological apparent horizons.

  2. Deepwater Ports in US waters as of August 2013

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The Deepwater Port Licensing Program is the application process designed to promote the construction of LNG and oil deepwater ports. This license system was...

  3. VMware Horizon Workspace essentials

    CERN Document Server

    von Oven, Peter; Lindberg, Joel

    2014-01-01

    This book uses a step-by-step approach to teach you how to design, deploy, and manage a Horizon Workspace based on real world experience. Written in an easy-to-follow style, this book explains the terminology in a clear and concise manner. Each feature is explained starting at a high level and then drilling down into the technical detail, using diagrams and screenshots.This book is perfect for IT administrators who want to deploy a solution to centrally manage access to corporate applications, data, and virtual desktops using Horizon Workspace. You need to have some experience in delivering BY

  4. Bootstrap, universality and horizons

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chang, Chi-Ming [Center for Theoretical Physics and Department of Physics,University of California, Berkeley, CA 94704 (United States); Lin, Ying-Hsuan [Jefferson Physical Laboratory, Harvard University,Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States)

    2016-10-13

    We present a closed form expression for the semiclassical OPE coefficients that are universal for all 2D CFTs with a “weak” light spectrum, by taking the semiclassical limit of the fusion kernel. We match this with a properly regularized and normalized bulk action evaluated on a geometry with three conical defects, analytically continued in the deficit angles beyond the range for which a metric with positive signature exists. The analytically continued geometry has a codimension-one coordinate singularity surrounding the heaviest conical defect. This singularity becomes a horizon after Wick rotating to Lorentzian signature, suggesting a connection between universality and the existence of a horizon.

  5. Mastering VMware Horizon 6

    CERN Document Server

    Oven, Peter von

    2015-01-01

    If you are working as a desktop admin, part of a EUC team, an architect, or a consultant on a desktop virtualization project and you are looking to use VMware's Horizon solution, this book is for you. This book will demonstrate the new capabilities of Horizon 6. You should have experience in desktop management using Windows and Microsoft Office, and be familiar with Active Directory, SQL, Windows Remote Desktop Session Hosting, and VMware vSphere infrastructure (ESXi and vCenter Server) technology.

  6. Laser In-Situ Scattering and Transmissometer (LISST) and Conductivity Temperature Depth (CTD) measurements and supporting data collected in response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill Incident from multiple vessels in the Gulf of Mexico from 21/04/2010 to 24/08/2010 (NODC Accession 0086284)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — At the request of the United States (U.S.) government and BP, research scientists and technicians from the Centre for Offshore Oil Gas and Energy Research (COOGER),...

  7. Weakly isolated horizon information loss paradox

    CERN Document Server

    Chen, Ge-Rui

    2014-01-01

    In this paper we investigate the information loss paradox of weakly isolated horizon(WIH) based on the Parikh and Wilczek's tunneling spectrum. We find that there are correlations among Hawking radiations from weakly isolated horizon, the information can be carried out in terms of correlations between sequential emissions, and the radiation is an entropy conservation process. We generalize Refs.[11-13]' results to a more general spacetime. Through revisiting the calculation of tunneling of weakly isolated horizon, we find that Ref.[12]'s requirement that radiating particles have the same angular momenta of unit mass as that of black hole is not needed, and the energy and angular momenta of emitting particles are very arbitrary, which should be restricted only by keeping the cosmic censorship of black hole.

  8. Mechanics of universal horizons

    CERN Document Server

    Berglund, Per; Mattingly, David

    2012-01-01

    Modified gravity models such as Ho\\v{r}ava-Lifshitz gravity or Einstein-{\\ae}ther theory violate local Lorentz invariance and therefore destroy the notion of a universal light cone. Despite this, in the infrared limit both models above possess static, spherically symmetric solutions with "universal horizons" - hypersurfaces that are causal boundaries between an interior region and asymptotic spatial infinity. In other words, there still exist black hole solutions. We construct a Smarr formula (the relationship between the total energy of the spacetime and the area of the horizon) for such a horizon in Einstein-{\\ae}ther theory. We further show that a slightly modified first law of black hole mechanics still holds with the relevant area now a cross-section of the universal horizon. We construct new analytic solutions for certain Einstein-{\\ae}ther Lagrangians and illustrate how our results work in these exact cases. Our results suggest that holography may be extended to these theories despite the very differen...

  9. The reliability horizon

    CERN Document Server

    Visser, M

    1997-01-01

    The ``reliability horizon'' for semi-classical quantum gravity quantifies the extent to which we should trust semi-classical quantum gravity, and gives a handle on just where the ``Planck regime'' resides. The key obstruction to pushing semi-classical quantum gravity into the Planck regime is often the existence of large metric fluctuations, rather than a large back-reaction.

  10. Instability of enclosed horizons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kay, Bernard S.

    2015-03-01

    We point out that there are solutions to the scalar wave equation on dimensional Minkowski space with finite energy tails which, if they reflect off a uniformly accelerated mirror due to (say) Dirichlet boundary conditions on it, develop an infinite stress-energy tensor on the mirror's Rindler horizon. We also show that, in the presence of an image mirror in the opposite Rindler wedge, suitable compactly supported arbitrarily small initial data on a suitable initial surface will develop an arbitrarily large stress-energy scalar near where the two horizons cross. Also, while there is a regular Hartle-Hawking-Israel-like state for the quantum theory between these two mirrors, there are coherent states built on it for which there are similar singularities in the expectation value of the renormalized stress-energy tensor. We conjecture that in other situations with analogous enclosed horizons such as a (maximally extended) Schwarzschild black hole in equilibrium in a (stationary spherical) box or the (maximally extended) Schwarzschild-AdS spacetime, there will be similar stress-energy singularities and almost-singularities—leading to instability of the horizons when gravity is switched on and matter and gravity perturbations are allowed for. All this suggests it is incorrect to picture a black hole in equilibrium in a box or a Schwarzschild-AdS black hole as extending beyond the past and future horizons of a single Schwarzschild (/Schwarzschild-AdS) wedge. It would thus provide new evidence for 't Hooft's brick wall model while seeming to invalidate the picture in Maldacena's ` Eternal black holes in AdS'. It would thereby also support the validity of the author's matter-gravity entanglement hypothesis and of the paper ` Brick walls and AdS/CFT' by the author and Ortíz.

  11. Horizon as critical phenomenon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Sung-Sik

    2016-09-01

    We show that renormalization group flow can be viewed as a gradual wave function collapse, where a quantum state associated with the action of field theory evolves toward a final state that describes an IR fixed point. The process of collapse is described by the radial evolution in the dual holographic theory. If the theory is in the same phase as the assumed IR fixed point, the initial state is smoothly projected to the final state. If in a different phase, the initial state undergoes a phase transition which in turn gives rise to a horizon in the bulk geometry. We demonstrate the connection between critical behavior and horizon in an example, by deriving the bulk metrics that emerge in various phases of the U( N ) vector model in the large N limit based on the holographic dual constructed from quantum renormalization group. The gapped phase exhibits a geometry that smoothly ends at a finite proper distance in the radial direction. The geometric distance in the radial direction measures a complexity: the depth of renormalization group transformation that is needed to project the generally entangled UV state to a direct product state in the IR. For gapless states, entanglement persistently spreads out to larger length scales, and the initial state can not be projected to the direct product state. The obstruction to smooth projection at charge neutral point manifests itself as the long throat in the anti-de Sitter space. The Poincare horizon at infinity marks the critical point which exhibits a divergent length scale in the spread of entanglement. For the gapless states with non-zero chemical potential, the bulk space becomes the Lifshitz geometry with the dynamical critical exponent two. The identification of horizon as critical point may provide an explanation for the universality of horizon. We also discuss the structure of the bulk tensor network that emerges from the quantum renormalization group.

  12. Quasilocal rotating conformal Killing horizons

    CERN Document Server

    Chatterjee, Ayan

    2015-01-01

    The formulation of quasi-local conformal Killling horizons(CKH) is extended to include rotation. This necessitates that the horizon be foliated by 2-spheres which may be distorted. Matter degrees of freedom which fall through the horizon is taken to be a real scalar field. We show that these rotating CKHs also admit a first law in differential form.

  13. Behind the geon horizon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guica, Monica; Ross, Simon F.

    2015-03-01

    We explore the Papadodimas-Raju prescription for reconstructing the region behind the horizon of one-sided black holes in AdS/CFT in the case of the {R}{{P}2} geon—a simple, analytic example of a single-sided, asymptotically AdS3 black hole, which corresponds to a pure CFT state that thermalizes at late times. We show that in this specific example, the mirror operators involved in the reconstruction of the interior have a particularly simple form: the mirror of a single trace operator at late times is just the corresponding single trace operator at early times. We use some explicit examples to explore how changes in the state modify the geometry inside the horizon.

  14. Behind the geon horizon

    CERN Document Server

    Guica, Monica

    2014-01-01

    We explore the Papadodimas-Raju prescription for reconstructing the region behind the horizon of one-sided black holes in AdS/CFT in the case of the RP^2 geon - a simple, analytic example of a single-sided, asymptotically AdS_3 black hole, which corresponds to a pure CFT state that thermalises at late times. We show that in this specific example, the mirror operators involved in the reconstruction of the interior have a particularly simple form: the mirror of a single trace operator at late times is just the corresponding single trace operator at early times. We use some explicit examples to explore how changes in the state modify the geometry inside the horizon.

  15. Divergence on the Horizon

    CERN Document Server

    Kupferman, Judy

    2010-01-01

    Black hole entropy has been shown by t'Hooft to diverge at the horizon, whereas entanglement entropy in general does not. We show that because the region near the horizon is a thermal state, entropy is linear to energy, and energy at a barrier is inversely proportional to barrier slope, and diverges at an infinitely sharp barrier as a result of position/momentum uncertainty. We show that t'Hooft's divergence at the black hole is also an example of momentum/position uncertainty, as seen by the fact that the "brick wall" which corrects it in fact smooths the sharp boundary into a more gradual slope. This removes a major obstacle to identification of black hole entropy with entanglement entropy.

  16. Refraction near the horizon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schaefer, Bradley E.; Liller, William

    1990-01-01

    Variations in astronomical refraction near the horizon are examined. Sunset timings, a sextant mounted on a tripod, and a temperature profile are utilized to derive the variations in refraction data, collected from 7 locations. It is determined that the refraction ranges from 0.234 to 1.678 deg with an rms deviation of 0.16, and it is observed that the variation is larger than previously supposed. Some applications for the variation of refraction value are discussed.

  17. Horizons of cybernetical physics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fradkov, Alexander L.

    2017-03-01

    The subject and main areas of a new research field-cybernetical physics-are discussed. A brief history of cybernetical physics is outlined. The main areas of activity in cybernetical physics are briefly surveyed, such as control of oscillatory and chaotic behaviour, control of resonance and synchronization, control in thermodynamics, control of distributed systems and networks, quantum control. This article is part of the themed issue 'Horizons of cybernetical physics'.

  18. Acceleration without Horizons

    CERN Document Server

    Doria, Alaric

    2015-01-01

    We derive the metric of an accelerating observer moving with non-constant proper acceleration in flat spacetime. With the exception of a limiting case representing a Rindler observer, there are no horizons. In our solution, observers can accelerate to any desired terminal speed $v_{\\infty} < c$. The motion of the accelerating observer is completely determined by the distance of closest approach and terminal velocity or, equivalently, by an acceleration parameter and terminal velocity.

  19. Horizons of cybernetical physics

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-01-01

    The subject and main areas of a new research field—cybernetical physics—are discussed. A brief history of cybernetical physics is outlined. The main areas of activity in cybernetical physics are briefly surveyed, such as control of oscillatory and chaotic behaviour, control of resonance and synchronization, control in thermodynamics, control of distributed systems and networks, quantum control. This article is part of the themed issue ‘Horizons of cybernetical physics’. PMID:28115620

  20. Horizon 2020 in sight

    CERN Multimedia

    Joannah Caborn Wengler

    2012-01-01

    Every tenth member of the CERN personnel participates in an EU-funded project – a strong indication of CERN’s successful relations with the European Commission (EC), coordinated by the CERN EU projects office. The EC director in charge of preparing “Horizon 2020”, the new EU funding programme for research and innovation (2014-2020), will be giving a presentation at CERN on 8 May. He will reveal more about what the new programme has in store.   “It’s a very interesting time in the development of Horizon 2020, which is focusing the attention of all research communities in Europe,” explains Svetlomir Stavrev, head of the EU projects office. “After a long public consultation and drafting process, the Horizon 2020 proposal documents are now being reviewed by the European Parliament and Council.” CERN already participated in the consultation, making good use of the opportunity to contribute to the shaping of wh...

  1. Geometry of isolated horizons

    CERN Document Server

    Flandera, Aleš

    2016-01-01

    While the formalism of isolated horizons is known for some time, only quite recently the near horizon solution of Einstein's equations has been found in the Bondi-like coordinates by Krishnan in 2012. In this framework, the space-time is regarded as the characteristic initial value problem with the initial data given on the horizon and another null hypersurface. It is not clear, however, what initial data reproduce the simplest physically relevant black hole solution, namely that of Kerr-Newman which describes stationary, axisymmetric black hole with charge. Moreover, Krishnan's construction employs the non-twisting null geodesic congruence and the tetrad which is parallelly propagated along this congruence. While the existence of such tetrad can be easily established in general, its explicit form can be very difficult to find and, in fact it has not been provided for the Kerr-Newman metric. The goal of this thesis was to fill this gap and provide a full description of the Kerr-Newman metric in the framework ...

  2. West Africa's deepwater future

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    McLennan, James; Williams, Stewart

    2005-07-01

    The article surveys the development in the petroleum activities in Africa particularly in the dominating nations Angola ad Nigeria. Economic and social aspects are mentioned as well as the necessity of deepwater exploitation as the resources in more shallow waters become depleted.

  3. Mechanical Characteristics of Some Deepwater Floater

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Chen, Zhen-Zhe; Tarp-Johansen, Niels Jacob; Jensen, Jørgen Juncher

    2006-01-01

    This paper presents an initial study of the mechanical characteristics of some deepwater floater designs for offshore wind turbines. Three different concepts (NREL TLP, Dutch Trifloater, and Japanese SPAR) are summarized, based on data from the available studies. A 5 MW Horizontal Axis Wind Turbine...

  4. 8. report of the Standing Senate Committee on energy, the environment and natural resources : facts do not justify banning Canada's current offshore drilling operations : a Senate review in the wake of BP's Deepwater Horizon incident

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Angus, W.D.; Mitchell, G. (comps.)

    2010-08-15

    The blowout of BP's Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico has prompted many drilling practice reviews worldwide. This review by Canada's Senate Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources investigated Canadian offshore drilling practices. It showed that the risk of an offshore accident is quite low, partly because of the small amount of drilling currently underway in Canada. As a result, the committee recommended against a moratorium on offshore drilling. The study found that Canada's regulations for safety are more stringent than regulations in the United States. This report has elicited further reviews of liability and responsibility issues regarding offshore drilling. The Canadian legislation specifies that oil and gas companies are responsible for all spill clean-up costs and damage compensation. A $30 million absolute liability fund covers blowout costs for drilling in Canada's east offshore coast. A second civil liability fund requires drilling companies to provide Canadian regulators access to $70 million to cover damages from fault or negligence in offshore drilling. In addition, well operators may be required to provide evidence that they have a minimum of $250 million to fund well control, well safety and spill cleanup expenses. This report recommended a comprehensive review of liability, including whether thresholds should be adjusted to reflect current economic realities. refs., tabs., figs.

  5. VMware Horizon Mirage essentials

    CERN Document Server

    Von Oven, Peter

    2013-01-01

    This book provides a practical, step-by-step approach to teach you how to build a successful infrastructure.This book is perfect for desktop administrators who want to deploy a solution to centrally manage their endpoint images across their entire estate using VMware Horizon Mirage. You need to have some experience in desktop image management using Microsoft Windows operating systems and Windows applications, as well as be familiar with Active Directory, SQL, IIS, and general server infrastructure relating to supporting end users.

  6. Expanding Your Horizon 2015

    CERN Multimedia

    Kaltenhauser, Kristin

    2015-01-01

    Expanding your horizons is a bi-annual “Science Day” for girls aged 11 to 14, held at the University of Geneva on 14 November. The girls had the opportunity to take part in hands-on workshops held by local professional women in the field of science, mathematics, engineering and technology. For the fourth time, CERN was part of this event, offering three workshops as well as a booth at the Discovery Fair, including Higgnite, an interactive visualization of the Higgs Field.

  7. Horizons of cosmology

    CERN Document Server

    Silk, Joseph

    2011-01-01

    Horizons of Cosmology: Exploring Worlds Seen and Unseen is the fourth title published in the Templeton Science and Religion Series, in which scientists from a wide range of fields distill their experience and knowledge into brief tours of their respective specialties. In this volume, highly esteemed astrophysicist Joseph Silk explores the vast mysteries and speculations of the field of cosmology in a way that balances an accessible style for the general reader and enough technical detail for advanced students and professionals. Indeed, while the p

  8. Entropy of Isolated Horizons revisited

    CERN Document Server

    Basu, Rudranil; Majumdar, Parthasarathi

    2009-01-01

    The decade-old formulation of the isolated horizon classically and within loop quantum gravity, and the extraction of the microcanonical entropy of such a horizon from this formulation, is reviewed, in view of recent renewed interest. There are two main approaches to this problem: one employs an SU(2) Chern-Simons theory describing the isolated horizon degrees of freedom, while the other uses a reduced U(1) Chern-Simons theory obtained from the SU(2) theory, with appropriate constraints imposed on the spectrum of boundary states `living' on the horizon. It is shown that both these ways lead to the same infinite series asymptotic in horizon area for the microcanonical entropy of an isolated horizon. The leading area term is followed by an unambiguous correction term logarithmic in area with a coefficient $-\\frac32$, with subleading corrections dropping off as inverse powers of the area.

  9. Deep-water antipatharians: Proxies of environmental change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, B.; Risk, M. J.; Ross, S. W.; Sulak, K. J.

    2006-09-01

    Deep-water (307 697 m) antipatharian (black coral) specimens were collected from the southeastern continental slope of the United States and the north-central Gulf of Mexico. The sclerochronology of the specimens indicates that skeletal growth takes place by formation of concentric coeval layers. We used 210Pb to estimate radial growth rate of two specimens, and to establish that they were several centuries old. Bands were delaminated in KOH and analyzed for carbon and nitrogen stable isotopes. Carbon values ranged from -16.4‰ to -15.7‰; the oldest specimen displayed the largest range in values. Nitrogen values ranged from 7.7‰ to 8.6‰. Two specimens from the same location and depth had similar 15N signatures, indicating good reproducibility between specimens.

  10. The New Horizons Spacecraft

    CERN Document Server

    Fountain, Glen H; Hersman, Christopher B; Herder, Timothy S; Coughlin, Thomas B; Gibson, William C; Clancy, Deborah A; DeBoy, Christopher C; Hill, T Adrian; Kinnison, James D; Mehoke, Douglas S; Ottman, Geffrey K; Rogers, Gabe D; Stern, S Alan; Stratton, James M; Vernon, Steven R; Williams, Stephen P

    2007-01-01

    The New Horizons spacecraft was launched on 19 January 2006. The spacecraft was designed to provide a platform for seven instruments that will collect and return data from Pluto in 2015. The design drew on heritage from previous missions developed at The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) and other missions such as Ulysses. The trajectory design imposed constraints on mass and structural strength to meet the high launch acceleration needed to reach the Pluto system prior to the year 2020. The spacecraft subsystems were designed to meet tight mass and power allocations, yet provide the necessary control and data handling finesse to support data collection and return when the one-way light time during the Pluto flyby is 4.5 hours. Missions to the outer solar system require a radioisotope thermoelectric generator (RTG) to supply electrical power, and a single RTG is used by New Horizons. To accommodate this constraint, the spacecraft electronics were designed to operate on less than 200 W....

  11. Instability of enclosed horizons

    CERN Document Server

    Kay, Bernard S

    2013-01-01

    We study the classical massless scalar wave equation on the region of 1+1-dimensional Minkowski space between the two branches of the hyperbola $x^2-t^2=1$ with vanishing boundary conditions on it. We point out that there are initially finite-energy initially, say, right-going waves for which the stress-energy tensor becomes singular on the null-line $t+x=0$. We also construct the quantum theory of this system and show that, while there is a regular Hartle-Hawking-Israel-like state, there are coherent states built on this for which there is a similar singularity in the expectation value of the renormalized stress-energy tensor. We conjecture that in 1+3-dimensional situations with 'enclosed horizons' such as a (maximally extended) Schwarzschild black hole in equilibrium in a stationary box or the (maximally extended) Schwarzschild-AdS spacetime, there will be a similar singularity at the horizon and that would signal an instability when matter perturbations and/or gravity are switched on. Such an instability ...

  12. Stringy horizons II

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Giveon, Amit [Racah Institute of Physics, The Hebrew University,Jerusalem 91904 (Israel); Itzhaki, Nissan [Physics Department, Tel-Aviv University,Ramat-Aviv, 69978 (Israel); Kutasov, David [EFI and Department of Physics, University of Chicago,5640 S. Ellis Av., Chicago, IL 60637 (United States)

    2016-10-28

    We show that the spectrum of normalizable states on a Euclidean SL(2, R)/U(1) black hole exhibits a duality between oscillator states and wound strings. This duality generalizes the identification between a normalizable mode of dilaton gravity on the cigar and a mode of the tachyon with winding number one around the Euclidean time circle, which plays an important role in the FZZ correspondence. It implies that normalizable states on a large Euclidean black hole have support at widely separated scales. In particular, localized states that are extended over the cap of the cigar (the Euclidian analog of the black hole atmosphere) have a component that is localized near the tip of the cigar (the analog of the stretched horizon). As a consequence of this duality, the states exhibit a transition as a function of radial excitation level. From the perspective of a low energy probe, low lying states are naturally thought of as oscillator states in the black hole atmosphere, while at large excitation level they are naturally described as wound strings. As the excitation level increases, the size of the states first decreases and then increases. This behavior is expected to be a general feature of black hole horizons in string theory.

  13. Horizon as Critical Phenomenon

    CERN Document Server

    Lee, Sung-Sik

    2016-01-01

    We show that renormalization group(RG) flow can be viewed as a gradual wave function collapse, where a quantum state associated with the action of field theory evolves toward a final state that describes an IR fixed point. The process of collapse is described by the radial evolution in the dual holographic theory. If the theory is in the same phase as the assumed IR fixed point, the initial state is smoothly projected to the final state. If in a different phase, the initial state undergoes a phase transition which in turn gives rise to a horizon in the bulk geometry. We demonstrate the connection between critical behavior and horizon in an example, by deriving the bulk metrics that emerge in various phases of the U(N) vector model in the large N limit based on the holographic dual constructed from quantum RG. The gapped phase exhibits a geometry that smoothly ends at a finite proper distance in the radial direction. The geometric distance in the radial direction measures a complexity : the depth of RG transfo...

  14. Stringy horizons II

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giveon, Amit; Itzhaki, Nissan; Kutasov, David

    2016-10-01

    We show that the spectrum of normalizable states on a Euclidean SL(2, R)/U(1) black hole exhibits a duality between oscillator states and wound strings. This duality generalizes the identification between a normalizable mode of dilaton gravity on the cigar and a mode of the tachyon with winding number one around the Euclidean time circle, which plays an important role in the FZZ correspondence. It implies that normalizable states on a large Euclidean black hole have support at widely separated scales. In particular, localized states that are extended over the cap of the cigar (the Euclidian analog of the black hole atmosphere) have a component that is localized near the tip of the cigar (the analog of the stretched horizon). As a consequence of this duality, the states exhibit a transition as a function of radial excitation level. From the perspective of a low energy probe, low lying states are naturally thought of as oscillator states in the black hole atmosphere, while at large excitation level they are naturally described as wound strings. As the excitation level increases, the size of the states first decreases and then increases. This behavior is expected to be a general feature of black hole horizons in string theory.

  15. What happens at the horizon?

    CERN Document Server

    Mathur, Samir D

    2013-01-01

    The Schwarzschild metric has an apparent singularity at the horizon r=2M. What really happens there? If physics at the horizon is 'normal' laboratory physics, then we run into Hawking's information paradox. If we want nontrivial structure at the horizon, then we need a mechanism to generate this structure that evades the 'no hair' conjectures of the past. Further, if we have such structure, then what would the role of the traditional black hole metric which continues smoothly past the horizon? Recent work has provided an answer to these questions, and in the process revealed a beautiful tie-up between gravity, string theory and thermodynamics.

  16. What Happens at the Horizon?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mathur, Samir D.

    2013-07-01

    The Schwarzschild metric has an apparent singularity at the horizon r = 2M. What really happens there? If physics at the horizon is "normal" laboratory physics, then we run into Hawking's information paradox. If we want nontrivial structure at the horizon, then we need a mechanism to generate this structure that evades the "no hair" conjectures of the past. Further, if we have such structure, then what would be the role of the traditional black hole metric which continues smoothly past the horizon? Recent work has provided an answer to these questions, and in the process revealed a beautiful tie-up between gravity, string theory and thermodynamics.

  17. Changing Horizons in Geography Education

    OpenAIRE

    2005-01-01

    Changing Horizons in Geography Education considers and develops aspects of the Bologna Process through the three pillars of operation. These were Europeanisation, Professional Development and Exciting Geography.

  18. Three-Dimensional Simulations of Deep-Water Breaking Waves

    CERN Document Server

    Brucker, Kyle A; Dommermuth, Douglas G; Adams, Paul

    2014-01-01

    The formulation of a canonical deep-water breaking wave problem is introduced, and the results of a set of three-dimensional numerical simulations for deep-water breaking waves are presented. In this paper fully nonlinear progressive waves are generated by applying a normal stress to the free surface. Precise control of the forcing allows for a systematic study of four types of deep-water breaking waves, characterized herein as weak plunging, plunging, strong plunging, and very strong plunging.

  19. Near horizon structure of extremal vanishing horizon black holes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Sadeghian

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available We study the near horizon structure of Extremal Vanishing Horizon (EVH black holes, extremal black holes with vanishing horizon area with a vanishing one-cycle on the horizon. We construct the most general near horizon EVH and near-EVH ansatz for the metric and other fields, like dilaton and gauge fields which may be present in the theory. We prove that (1 the near horizon EVH geometry for generic gravity theory in generic dimension has a three dimensional maximally symmetric subspace; (2 if the matter fields of the theory satisfy strong energy condition either this 3d part is AdS3, or the solution is a direct product of a locally 3d flat space and a d−3 dimensional part; (3 these results extend to the near horizon geometry of near-EVH black holes, for which the AdS3 part is replaced with BTZ geometry. We present some specific near horizon EVH geometries in 3, 4 and 5 dimensions for which there is a classification. We also briefly discuss implications of these generic results for generic (gauged supergravity theories and also for the thermodynamics of near-EVH black holes and the EVH/CFT proposal.

  20. Installation Capacity Assessment of Damaged Deepwater Pipelines

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ramasamy R.

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available The worldwide exploration and development of subsea and deepwater reservoirs has laid down some new and old engineering challenges to the offshore pipeline industry. This requires large D/t pipelines to be installed at water depths in the vicinity of up to 2700m. The deepwater collapse and buckle propagation event is almost unavoidable as the pipe wall thickness cannot be always determined from the codes and standards due to the limit state criteria. These codes also do not consider any fabrication imperfections and sustained damages emanating from transportation and handling. The objective of this paper is to present the Finite Element Analysis (FEA of dented pipes with D/t ratio more than 45, which is outside the applicability of current design codes, and to investigate the effects on installation capacity of these various damage sizes in terms of collapse and buckle propagation.

  1. An Overview of Deepwater Pipeline Laying Technology

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    LI Zhi-gang; WANG Cong; HE Ning; ZHAO Dong-yan

    2008-01-01

    The technology and methods involved in pipeline laying in shallow water have evolved to the level of routine and commonplace. However, regarding the unexpected deepwater complexity, the traditional pipeline laying techniques have to confront many new challenges arisen from the increase of the water depth, diameter of the pipe and the welding difficulty, all of which should be modified and/or innovated based on the existed mature experiences. The purpose of this investigation is to outline the existing and new engineering laying techniques and the associated facilities, which can provide some significant information to the related research. In the context, the latest deepwater pipeline laying technology and pipe laying barges of the renowned companies from Switzerland, Norway, Italy etc., are introduced and the corresponding comparison and discussion are presented as well.

  2. Wetlands & Deepwater Habitats - Montana Wetland and Riparian Framework - Map Service

    Data.gov (United States)

    NSGIC GIS Inventory (aka Ramona) — The Montana Wetland and Riparian Framework represents the extent, type, and approximate location of wetlands, riparian areas, and deepwater habitats in Montana....

  3. Resolving Lifshitz Horizons

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Harrison, Sarah; Kachru, Shamit; Wang, Huajia; /Stanford U., ITP /Stanford U., Phys. Dept. /SLAC

    2012-04-24

    Via the AdS/CFT correspondence, ground states of field theories at finite charge density are mapped to extremal black brane solutions. Studies of simple gravity + matter systems in this context have uncovered wide new classes of extremal geometries. The Lifshitz metrics characterizing field theories with non-trivial dynamical critical exponent z {ne} 1 emerge as one common endpoint in doped holographic toy models. However, the Lifshitz horizon exhibits mildly singular behaviour - while curvature invariants are finite, there are diverging tidal forces. Here we show that in some of the simplest contexts where Lifshitz metrics emerge, Einstein-Maxwell-dilaton theories, generic corrections lead to a replacement of the Lifshitz metric, in the deep infrared, by a re-emergent AdS{sub 2} x R{sup 2} geometry. Thus, at least in these cases, the Lifshitz scaling characterizes the physics over a wide range of energy scales, but the mild singularity is cured by quantum or stringy effects.

  4. The New Horizons Spacecraft

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fountain, Glen H.; Kusnierkiewicz, David Y.; Hersman, Christopher B.; Herder, Timothy S.; Coughlin, Thomas B.; Gibson, William C.; Clancy, Deborah A.; Deboy, Christopher C.; Hill, T. Adrian; Kinnison, James D.; Mehoke, Douglas S.; Ottman, Geffrey K.; Rogers, Gabe D.; Stern, S. Alan; Stratton, James M.; Vernon, Steven R.; Williams, Stephen P.

    2008-10-01

    The New Horizons spacecraft was launched on 19 January 2006. The spacecraft was designed to provide a platform for seven instruments designated by the science team to collect and return data from Pluto in 2015. The design meets the requirements established by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Announcement of Opportunity AO-OSS-01. The design drew on heritage from previous missions developed at The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) and other missions such as Ulysses. The trajectory design imposed constraints on mass and structural strength to meet the high launch acceleration consistent with meeting the AO requirement of returning data prior to the year 2020. The spacecraft subsystems were designed to meet tight resource allocations (mass and power) yet provide the necessary control and data handling finesse to support data collection and return when the one-way light time during the Pluto fly-by is 4.5 hours. Missions to the outer regions of the solar system (where the solar irradiance is 1/1000 of the level near the Earth) require a radioisotope thermoelectric generator (RTG) to supply electrical power. One RTG was available for use by New Horizons. To accommodate this constraint, the spacecraft electronics were designed to operate on approximately 200 W. The travel time to Pluto put additional demands on system reliability. Only after a flight time of approximately 10 years would the desired data be collected and returned to Earth. This represents the longest flight duration prior to the return of primary science data for any mission by NASA. The spacecraft system architecture provides sufficient redundancy to meet this requirement with a probability of mission success of greater than 0.85. The spacecraft is now on its way to Pluto, with an arrival date of 14 July 2015. Initial in-flight tests have verified that the spacecraft will meet the design requirements.

  5. Trace Atmospheric Gas Analyzer (TAGA) Dispersant Data for BP Spil/Deepwater Horizon - August 2010

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency — The Trace Atmospheric Gas Analyzer (TAGA) buses are self-contained mobile laboratories that conduct instant-result monitoring of air quality at particular locations....

  6. Deepwater Horizon: Coast Guard and Interior Could Improve Their Offshore Energy Inspection Programs

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-11-02

    failing to comply with a collection of information if it does not display a currently valid OMB control number. 1. REPORT DATE 02 NOV 2011 2. REPORT...nautical miles, and of which the subsoil and seabed appertain to the U.S. and are subject to its jurisdiction and control . See 43 U.S.C. § 1331(a); 33...semisubmersibles, and shipshape hulls. A MODU is a vessel capable of drilling operations for exploring or exploiting subsea oil, natural gas, or other

  7. Distinct bacterial communities in surficial seafloor sediments following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon blowout

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tingting Yang

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available A major fraction of the petroleum hydrocarbons discharged during the 2010 Macondo oil spill became associated with and sank to the seafloor as marine snow flocs. This sedimentation pulse induced the development of distinct bacterial communities. Between May 2010 and July 2011, full-length 16S rRNA gene clone libraries demonstrated bacterial community succession in oil-polluted sediment samples near the wellhead area. Libraries from early May 2010, before the sedimentation event, served as the baseline control. Freshly deposited oil-derived marine snow was collected on the surface of sediment cores in September 2010, and was characterized by abundantly detected members of the marine Roseobacter cluster within the Alphaproteobacteria. Samples collected in mid-October 2010 closest to the wellhead contained members of the sulfate-reducing, anaerobic bacterial families Desulfobacteraceae and Desulfobulbaceae within the Deltaproteobacteria, suggesting that the oil-derived sedimentation pulse triggered bacterial oxygen consumption and created patchy anaerobic microniches that favored sulfate-reducing bacteria. Phylotypes of the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon-degrading genus Cycloclasticus, previously found both in surface oil slicks and the deep hydrocarbon plume, were also found in oil-derived marine snow flocs sedimenting on the seafloor in September 2010, and in surficial sediments collected in October and November 2010, but not in any of the control samples. Due to the relative recalcitrance and stability of polycyclic aromatic compounds, Cycloclasticus represents the most persistent microbial marker of seafloor hydrocarbon deposition that we could identify in this dataset. The bacterial imprint of the DWH oil spill had diminished in late November 2010, when the bacterial communities in oil-impacted sediment samples collected near the Macondo wellhead began to resemble their pre-spill counterparts and spatial controls. Samples collected in summer of 2011 did not show a consistent bacterial community signature, suggesting that the bacterial community was no longer shaped by the DWH fallout of oil-derived marine snow, but instead by location-specific and seasonal factors.

  8. 76 FR 78016 - Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill; Draft Phase I Early Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-12-15

    ... about April 20, 2010, in the Gulf of Mexico. The purpose of this notice is to inform the public of the... on the DERP/EA by one of following methods: Via the Web: http://www.gulfspillrestoration.noaa.gov... Exploration and Production, Inc. (BP) in the Macondo prospect (Mississippi Canyon 252--MC252), experienced a...

  9. 78 FR 26319 - Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill; Proposal of Future Early Restoration Projects and Environmental Reviews

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-05-06

    ... early restoration projects that will provide meaningful benefits to accelerate restoration in the Gulf... resource services for the public's benefit while the longer-term process of fully assessing injury and... review of a draft, a Phase I Early Restoration Plan/Environmental Assessment (Phase I ERP) in April 2012...

  10. Impacts of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on blue crab, Callinectes sapidus, larval settlement in Mississippi

    Science.gov (United States)

    The largest accidental release of crude oil in history occurred in the north-central Gulf of Mexico (GOM) between April 20 and July 15, 2010 (Alford et al., this volume). The DWH spill was unprecedented due to both its magnitude (>600,000 metric tons released) and its occurren...

  11. Deepwater Horizon MC252 - Oil Spill: Ocean Imaging Corp.'s Aerial Multispectral Oil Mapping System

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Ocean Imaging Corp.'s Aerial Multispectral Oil Mapping System employs a customizable 4-spectral channel system and IR imager integrated to allow simultaneous data...

  12. Learning from Engineering Failures: A Case Study of the Deepwater Horizon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rose, Mary Annette; Hunt, Brian

    2012-01-01

    Natural catastrophes and engineering failures provide timely, motivating, and conceptually rich backdrops for learning. Engineering educators have long embraced case studies of engineering failures as a sound pedagogical strategy for meeting several learning standards, such as "design within realistic constraints", and teaching failure…

  13. Distinct Bacterial Communities in Surficial Seafloor Sediments Following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon Blowout

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Yang, Tingting; Speare, Kelly; McKay, Luke

    2016-01-01

    A major fraction of the petroleum hydrocarbons discharged during the 2010 Macondo oil spill became associated with and sank to the seafloor as marine snow flocs. This sedimentation pulse induced the development of distinct bacterial communities. Between May 2010 and July 2011, full-length 16S rRN...

  14. Coral communities as indicators of ecosystem-level impacts of the Deepwater Horizon spill

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fisher, Charles R.; Demopoulos, Amanda W.J.; Cordes, Erik E.; Baums, Iliana B.; White, Helen K.; Bourque, Jill R.

    2014-01-01

    The Macondo oil spill released massive quantities of oil and gas from a depth of 1500 meters. Although a buoyant plume carried released hydrocarbons to the sea surface, as much as half stayed in the water column and much of that in the deep sea. After the hydrocarbons reached the surface, weathering processes, burning, and the use of a dispersant caused hydrocarbon-rich marine snow to sink into the deep sea. As a result, this spill had a greater potential to affect deep-sea communities than had any previous spill. Here, we review the literature on impacts on deep-sea communities from the Macondo blowout and provide additional data on sediment hydrocarbon loads and the impacts on sediment infauna in areas with coral communities around the Macondo well. We review the literature on the genetic connectivity of deep-sea species in the Gulf of Mexico and discuss the potential for wider effects on deep Gulf coral communities.

  15. Learning from Engineering Failures: A Case Study of the Deepwater Horizon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rose, Mary Annette; Hunt, Brian

    2012-01-01

    Natural catastrophes and engineering failures provide timely, motivating, and conceptually rich backdrops for learning. Engineering educators have long embraced case studies of engineering failures as a sound pedagogical strategy for meeting several learning standards, such as "design within realistic constraints", and teaching failure analysis.…

  16. 78 FR 33431 - Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill; Notice of Intent To Prepare a Programmatic Environmental Impact...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-06-04

    .... Collectively, the Phase I and Phase II ERPs include a total of ten projects that were selected by the Trustees... Trustees have begun implementing many of the projects selected in the Phase I and Phase II ERPs. Phase...

  17. 78 FR 8184 - DEEPWATER HORIZON Oil Spill; Final Phase II Early Restoration Plan and Environmental Review

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-02-05

    ... Early Restoration Plan and Environmental Review (Phase II ERP/ER) describing the second set of... availability of the Phase II ERP/ER. ADDRESSES: Obtaining Documents: You may download the Phase II ERP/ER and... the Phase II ERP/ER at any of the public repositories listed at...

  18. 77 FR 66626 - Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill; Draft Early Restoration Plan and Environmental Review

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-11-06

    ... Assessment (Phase I ERP/EA) in April 2012. The Phase I ERP is currently being implemented. In a continuation... to satisfy claims against BP. Overview of the Draft ERP/ER Draft Early Restoration Plan Alternatives, Including Our Proposed Alternative The Draft ERP/ER is being released in accordance with the Oil...

  19. Dynamical evaporation of quantum horizons

    CERN Document Server

    Pranzetti, Daniele

    2013-01-01

    We describe the black hole evaporation process driven by the dynamical evolution of the quantum gravitational degrees of freedom resident at the horizon, as identified by the Loop Quantum Gravity kinematics. Using a parallel with the Brownian motion, we interpret the first law of quantum dynamical horizon in terms of a fluctuation-dissipation relation applied to this fundamental discrete structure. In this way, the horizon evolution is described in terms of relaxation to an equilibrium state balanced by the excitation of Planck scale constituents of the horizon. We investigate the final stage of the evaporation process and show how, from this setting, the emergence of several conservative scenarios for the information paradox can be microscopically derived. Namely, the leakage of part of the horizon quantum geometry information prior to the Planckian phase and the stabilization of the hole surface shrinkage forming a massive remnant, which can eventually decay, are described.

  20. Research Progress of Buckling Propagation Experiment of Deep-Water Pipelines

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    余建星; 吴梦宁; 孙震洲; 段晶辉

    2016-01-01

    In recent years, the extraction of fossil resources, especially oil and gas in deep and ultra-deep water areas has been playing a more important role and been paid more attention to. For this reason, the working depth of subma-rine pipelines, which are used for the transportation of oil and gas, has been increasing sharply. As the main failure pattern of deep-water pipelines, buckling and its propagation problem have drawn more attention of many research institutions and engineering units around the world. Based on the existing research, the summary of experiments and their outcomes of deep-water pipeline buckling failure is made in this paper. Research status and developing prospects of the experiments of buckling propagation and buckle arrestor are discussed in detail.

  1. 78 FR 53741 - Ultra-Deepwater Advisory Committee

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-08-30

    ... Advisory Committee Act (Public Law 92- 463, 86 Stat. 770) requires that public notice of this meeting be..., Welcome, Introductions, Opening Remarks, Overview of the Oil and Gas Ultra-Deepwater Research Portfolio... business. Individuals who would like to attend must RSVP by email to: UltraDeepwater@hq.doe.gov no later...

  2. Analysis on the reliability of subsea BOP and control system for ultra-deepwater drilling unit HYSY981%“海洋石油981”超深水钻井装置防喷器系统可靠性分析

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    曹式敬

    2013-01-01

    Based on the extreme challenge of safety operation due to harsh environment and complex technology at ultra-deepwater, subsea BOP and control system is known as the core system for well control and safe operation. In the paper, redundance technique is adopted to analyze the reliability of subsea BOP and control system for drilling unit HYSY981 in the respects of the configuration and test of BOP system. The analysis result has indicated that the reliability of BOP and the control system is sufficient except for capacity of pipe ram for 88. 900 mm drilling pipe and shearing ram. A better configuration is recommended to improve the system.%超深水钻井环境和技术工艺复杂,对钻井作业安全提出了极高的挑战,而超深水钻井装置防喷器系统是确保钻井和井控作业安全的核心设备.利用冗余方法从防喷器系统配置和测试2个方面对“海洋石油981”超深水钻井装置防喷器系统进行了可靠性分析,结果表明:除了全井段使用φ88.900 mm钻杆作业和剪切钻杆的工况外,防喷器及其控制系统是一个多重冗余配置系统,系统的可靠性是足够的.在此基础上,提出了进一步提升“海洋石油981”平台防喷器系统可靠性的配置方案建议.

  3. 78 FR 37878 - Deepwater Port License Application: Liberty Natural Gas LLC, Port Ambrose Deepwater Port

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-06-24

    ... offshore natural gas deepwater port facility that would be located approximately 17 nautical miles... regasification vessels (LNGRVs), vaporized on site and delivered through the STL Buoys, flexible riser/umbilical... Long Island--New York City Offshore Wind Collaborative wind energy project. This project will...

  4. Social Pharmacology: Expanding horizons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maiti, Rituparna; Alloza, José Luis

    2014-01-01

    In the current modern and global society, social changes are in constant evolution due to scientific progress (technology, culture, customs, and hygiene) and produce the freedom in individuals to take decisions by themselves or with their doctors toward drug consumption. In the arena of marketed drug products which includes society, individual, administration, and pharmaceutical industry, the young discipline emerged is social pharmacology or sociopharmacology. This science arises from clinical pharmacology, and deals with different parameters, which are important in creating knowledge on marketed drugs. However, the scope of “social pharmacology” is not covered by the so-called “Phase IV” alone, but it is the science that handles the postmarketing knowledge of drugs. The social pharmacology studies the “life cycle” of any marketed pharmaceutical product in the social terrain, and evaluates the effects of the real environment under circumstances totally different in the drug development process. Therefore, there are far-reaching horizons, plural, and shared predictions among health professionals and other, for beneficial use of a drug, toward maximizing the benefits of therapy, while minimizing negative social consequences. PMID:24987168

  5. Social pharmacology: expanding horizons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maiti, Rituparna; Alloza, José Luis

    2014-01-01

    In the current modern and global society, social changes are in constant evolution due to scientific progress (technology, culture, customs, and hygiene) and produce the freedom in individuals to take decisions by themselves or with their doctors toward drug consumption. In the arena of marketed drug products which includes society, individual, administration, and pharmaceutical industry, the young discipline emerged is social pharmacology or sociopharmacology. This science arises from clinical pharmacology, and deals with different parameters, which are important in creating knowledge on marketed drugs. However, the scope of "social pharmacology" is not covered by the so-called "Phase IV" alone, but it is the science that handles the postmarketing knowledge of drugs. The social pharmacology studies the "life cycle" of any marketed pharmaceutical product in the social terrain, and evaluates the effects of the real environment under circumstances totally different in the drug development process. Therefore, there are far-reaching horizons, plural, and shared predictions among health professionals and other, for beneficial use of a drug, toward maximizing the benefits of therapy, while minimizing negative social consequences.

  6. Social Pharmacology: Expanding horizons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rituparna Maiti

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available In the current modern and global society, social changes are in constant evolution due to scientific progress (technology, culture, customs, and hygiene and produce the freedom in individuals to take decisions by themselves or with their doctors toward drug consumption. In the arena of marketed drug products which includes society, individual, administration, and pharmaceutical industry, the young discipline emerged is social pharmacology or sociopharmacology. This science arises from clinical pharmacology, and deals with different parameters, which are important in creating knowledge on marketed drugs. However, the scope of "social pharmacology" is not covered by the so-called "Phase IV" alone, but it is the science that handles the postmarketing knowledge of drugs. The social pharmacology studies the "life cycle" of any marketed pharmaceutical product in the social terrain, and evaluates the effects of the real environment under circumstances totally different in the drug development process. Therefore, there are far-reaching horizons, plural, and shared predictions among health professionals and other, for beneficial use of a drug, toward maximizing the benefits of therapy, while minimizing negative social consequences.

  7. Resolving Lifshitz horizons

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Harrison, Sarah; Kachru, Shamit; Wang, Huajia [Stanford Institute for Theoretical Physics, Department of Physics, Stanford University,Stanford, CA 94305 (United States); Theory Group, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory,Menlo Park, CA 94309 (United States)

    2014-02-20

    Via the AdS/CFT correspondence, ground states of field theories at finite charge density are mapped to extremal black brane solutions. Studies of simple gravity + matter systems in this context have uncovered wide new classes of extremal geometries. The Lifshitz metrics characterising field theories with non-trivial dynamical critical exponent z≠1 emerge as one common endpoint in doped holographic toy models. However, the Lifshitz horizon exhibits mildly singular behaviour - while curvature invariants are finite, there are diverging tidal forces. Here we show that in some of the simplest contexts where Lifshitz metrics emerge, Einstein-Maxwell-dilaton theories, toy models of generic corrections can lead (presumably as one possibility among many) to a replacement of the Lifshitz metric, in the deep infrared, by a re-emergent AdS{sub 2}×R{sup 2} geometry. Thus, at least in these cases, the Lifshitz scaling characterises the physics over a wide range of energy scales, but the mild singularity is cured by quantum or stringy effects.

  8. Stringy Horizons II

    CERN Document Server

    Giveon, Amit; Kutasov, David

    2016-01-01

    We show that the spectrum of normalizable states on a Euclidean SL(2,R)/U(1) black hole exhibits a duality between oscillator states and wound strings. This duality generalizes the FZZ correspondence, which can be thought of as an identification between a normalizable mode of dilaton gravity and a mode of the tachyon with winding number one around the Euclidean time circle. It implies that normalizable states on a large Euclidean black hole have support at widely separated scales. In particular, localized states that are extended over the cap of the cigar (the Euclidian analog of the black hole atmosphere) have a component that is localized near the tip of the cigar (the analog of the stretched horizon). As a consequence of this duality, the states exhibit a transition as a function of radial excitation level. From the perspective of a low energy probe, low lying states are naturally thought of as oscillator states in the black hole atmosphere, while at large excitation level they are naturally described as w...

  9. Geochemistry and sedimentary environments Deep-water carbonate dissolution in the northern South China Sea during Marine Isotope Stage 3

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Na Wang; Bao-Qi Huang; He Li

    2016-01-01

    The production, transportation, deposition, and dissolution of carbonate profoundly form part of the global carbon cycle and affect the amount and distribution of dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) and alkalinity (ALK), which drive atmospheric CO2 changes during glacial/interglacial cycles. These processes may provide significant clues for better understanding of the mechanisms that control the global climate system. In this study, we calculate and analyze the foraminiferal dissolution index (FDX) and the fragmentation ratios of planktonic foraminifera for the 60-25 ka B.P. time-span, based on samples from Core 17924 and ODP Site 1144 in the northeastern South China Sea (SCS), so as to reconstruct the deep-water car-bonate dissolution during Marine Isotope Stage 3 (MIS 3). Our analysis shows that the dissolution of carbonate increases gradually in Core 17924, whereas it remains stable at ODP Site 1144. This difference is caused by the deep-sea carbonate ion concentration﹙[CO32-]﹚that affected the dissolution in Core 17924 where the depth of 3440 m is below the saturation horizon. However, the depth of ODP Site 1144 is 2037 m, which is above the lysocline where the water is always saturated with calcium carbonate; the dissolution is therefore less dependent of chemical changes of the seawater. The combined effect of the productivity and the deep-water chemical evolution may decrease deep-water [CO32-] and accelerate car-bonate dissolution. The fall of the sea-level increased the input of DIC and ALK to the deep ocean and deepened the carbonate saturation depth, which caused an increase of the deep-water [CO32-]. The elevated [CO32-] partially neutralized the reduced [CO32-] contributed by remineralization of organic matter and slowdown of thermohaline. These consequently are the fundamental reasons for the difference in dissolution rate between these two sites.

  10. Three theorems on near horizon extremal vanishing horizon geometries

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Sadeghian

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available EVH black holes are Extremal black holes with Vanishing Horizon area, where vanishing of horizon area is a result of having a vanishing one-cycle on the horizon. We prove three theorems regarding near horizon geometry of EVH black hole solutions to generic Einstein gravity theories in diverse dimensions. These generic gravity theories are Einstein–Maxwell-dilaton-Λ theories, and gauged or ungauged supergravity theories with U(1 Maxwell fields. Our three theorems are: (1 The near horizon geometry of any EVH black hole has a three dimensional maximally symmetric subspace. (2 If the energy momentum tensor of the theory satisfies strong energy condition either this 3d part is an AdS3, or the solution is a direct product of a locally 3d flat space and a d−3 dimensional part. (3 These results extend to the near horizon geometry of near-EVH black holes, for which the AdS3 part is replaced with BTZ geometry.

  11. Gravitational Global Monopoles with Horizons

    CERN Document Server

    Maison, D

    1999-01-01

    We give arguments for the existence of ``radial excitations'' of gravitational global monopoles with any number of zeros of the Higgs field and present numerical results for solutions with up to two zeros. All these solutions possess a de Sitter like cosmological horizon, outside of which they become singular. In addition we study corresponding static ``hairy'' black hole solutions, representing black holes sitting inside a global monopole core. In particular, we determine their existence domains as a function of their horizon radius rh.

  12. Alternative techniques for deep-water monitoring

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Matveev, Viktor A. [Institute for Nuclear Research, Russian Academy of Sciences, 60th October Anniversary Prospect 7a, Moscow 117312 (Russian Federation); Zheleznykh, Igor M., E-mail: zhelezny@minus.inr.ac.r [Institute for Nuclear Research, Russian Academy of Sciences, 60th October Anniversary Prospect 7a, Moscow 117312 (Russian Federation); Korotin, Pavel I. [Institute of Applied Physics, Russian Academy of Sciences, Ul' yanov Str., 46, Nizhnii Novgorod 603950 (Russian Federation); Paka, Vadim T. [P.P. Shirshov Institute of Oceanology - Atlantic Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences, Mir Prospect 1, Kaliningrad 236022 (Russian Federation); Surin, Nikolai M. [N.S. Enikolopov Institute of Synthetic Polymer Materials, Russian Academy of Sciences, Profsojuznaya Str. 70, Moscow 117393 (Russian Federation)

    2011-01-21

    A cruise of the Soviet R/V 'Dmitry Mendeleyev' in the Mediterranean Sea in 1989 is mentioned as the first step towards an international cooperation for high energy neutrino astrophysics in the Mediterranean. New proposals are considered related to carrying out common investigations connected with the construction of a large-scale neutrino telescope in the Mediterranean. In these investigations new techniques, which were developed in the last years or are being developed now by the Russian institutes, could be used, and in particular: (1) a system of multi-parameter non-tethered probes for deep-water hydrographic measurements, (2) a bottom-mounted acoustical antenna consisting of smart digital hydrophones, and (3) a deep-water scintillation spectrometer for the determination of the composition and for measuring the concentration of dissolved radionuclides. Given the necessity of making a best choice for the KM3 Neutrino Telescope construction, the idea of using light-weight flexible elements for making a 'flexible tower' presented at the Taormina Workshop in 1997 is reviewed.

  13. New technology opens the door for deepwater development

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Zhang Dagang

    2011-01-01

    The paper provided an updated status of technology for deepwater field development, demonstrated the importance of its application through actual project example, and discussed some future technical development trends. The focus was on the floating structures. By reviewing some of the engineering aspects of the project, the technology advancement, innovations and challenges in offshore engineering were discussed and demonstrated. The author's view of technical challenges facing deepwater forwarding was discussed, which covered water depth limitations, new material application, installation methods, riser development and operational issues. An overview of technologies that will enable deepwater projects to be extended into new frontiers was presented.

  14. Habitat, Fauna, and Conservation of Florida's Deep-Water Coral Reefs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reed, J. K.; Pomponi, S. A.; Messing, C. G.; Brooke, S.

    2008-05-01

    Various types of deep-water coral habitats are common off the southeastern United States from the Blake Plateau through the Straits of Florida to the eastern Gulf of Mexico. Expeditions in the past decade with the Johnson-Sea- Link manned submersibles, ROVs, and AUVs have discovered, mapped and compiled data on the status, distribution, habitat, and biodiversity for many of these relatively unknown deep-sea coral ecosystems. We have discovered over three hundred, high relief (15-152-m tall) coral mounds (depth 700-800 m) along the length of eastern Florida (700 km). The north Florida sites are rocky lithoherms, whereas the southern sites are primarily classic coral bioherms, capped with dense 1-2 m tall thickets of Lophelia pertusa and Enallopsammia profunda. Off southeastern Florida, the Miami Terrace escarpment (depth 300-600 m) extends nearly 150 km as a steep, rocky slope of Miocene-age phosphoritic limestone, which provides habitat for a rich biodiversity of fish and benthic invertebrates. Off the Florida Keys, the Pourtalès Terrace (depth 200- 460 m) has extensive high-relief bioherms and numerous deep-water sinkholes to depths of 250-610 m and diameters up to 800 m. The dominant, deep-water, colonial scleractinian corals in this region include Oculina varicosa, L. pertusa, E. profunda, Madrepora oculata, and Solenosmilia variabilis. Other coral species include hydrozoans (Stylasteridae), bamboo octocorals (Isididae), numerous other gorgonians, and black corals (Antipatharia). These structure-forming taxa provide habitat and living space for a relatively unknown but biologically rich and diverse community of crustaceans, mollusks, echinoderms, polychaete and sipunculan worms, and associated fishes. We have identified 142 taxa of benthic macro-invertebrates, including 66 Porifera and 57 Cnidaria. Nearly 100 species of fish have been identified to date in association with these deep-water coral habitats. Paull et al. (2000) estimated that over 40

  15. Global Horizons (Briefing Charts)

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-08-01

    subsystems (L) Airframe/ Aerodynamics Lightweight, unitized structure (F*) Adaptive structure and active flow control (F*) Adaptive HEETE (L) Hybrid systems...lift (L) • Ground-based laser for base defense (L) • Autonomous ground delivery systems (F*) • Airships (F) • Cargo UAS (F*) 2% 6% 68% 8% 14% 2

  16. The interaction between deepwater channel systems and growing thrusts and folds, toe-thrust region of the deepwater Niger Delta

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jolly, Byami; Whittaker, Alex; Lonergan, Lidia

    2015-04-01

    Gravity-driven seaward-verging thrusts, landward-verging back-thrusts and associated folds often characterize the slope and deepwater settings of passive margins. These structures, found in the 'toe-thrust' region of the system, exert a significant control on sediment gravity flows because they create and determine the location and configuration of sediment depocentres and transport systems. Consequently, a quantitative understanding of the interaction between sediment gravity flows and seabed topography is required to understand these systems effectively. Here we make quantitative measurements of the geomorphic response of submarine channels to growing tectonic structures with the aim of providing new constraints on the long-term erosional dynamics of submarine channel systems. This study exploits 3D seismic data in the outer toe-thrust region of the deepwater Niger Delta to analyze the interaction between Plio-Pleistocene channel systems and actively growing folds and thrusts. We mapped folds and thrusts from the seismic data and we used this data to reconstruct the history of fold growth. We then used the sea-bed seismic horizon to build a 50 m resolution Digital Elevation Model (DEM) of the sea floor in Arc-GIS. We extracted channel long- profiles across growing structures from the DEM, and made measurements of channel geometries at regular intervals along the channel length. This information was used to infer morphodyanamic processes that sculpted the channel systems through time, and to estimate the bed shear stresses and fluid velocities of typical flow events. The bathymetric long profiles of these channels are relatively linear with concavity that range from -0.08 to -0.34, and an average gradient of ~1o. Actively growing thrusts are typically associated with a local steepening in channel gradient by a factor of up to 3, and this effect extends 0.5 - 2 km upstream of the thrust. Within these knickzones, channel incision increases by approximately by a

  17. DEEPWATER AND NEARSHORE FOOD WEB CHARACTERIZATIONS IN LAKE SUPERIOR

    Science.gov (United States)

    Due to the difficulty associated with sampling deep aquatic systems, food web relationships among deepwater fauna are often poorly known. We are characterizing nearshore versus offshore habitats in the Great Lakes and investigating food web linkages among profundal, pelagic, and ...

  18. Dynamic loadings of deepwater spar palatform - A case study

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Mandal, S.; Narasimhan, M.C.; Ambulgekar, P.P.

    Various wave loadings are considered separately on the deepwater Spar platform, with the wave propagation along x-axis and dynamic analyses are carried out at 1150m water depth using Newmark- beta approach The dynamic responses along six degrees...

  19. DEEPWATER AND NEARSHORE FOOD WEB CHARACTERIZATIONS IN LAKE SUPERIOR

    Science.gov (United States)

    Due to the difficulty associated with sampling deep aquatic systems, food web relationships among deepwater fauna are often poorly known. We are characterizing nearshore versus offshore habitats in the Great Lakes and investigating food web linkages among profundal, pelagic, and ...

  20. 78 FR 58292 - Ultra-Deepwater Advisory Committee

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-09-23

    ....S. Department of Energy, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Room 3G-043, Washington, DC 20585. FOR... development and implementation of programs related to ultra-deepwater architecture and technology to...