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Four Men. Twelve Hours. One Crucial Sample.
WHOI researchers use technology that was invented to study hydrothermal vents to capture a one-of-a-kind sample of oil and gas erupting from the seafloor after the Deepwater Horizon blowout.
A Plume of Chemicals from Deepwater Horizon
Did petroleum chemicals from the stricken Deepwater Horizon oil well remain in the deep sea? WHOI scientists found and mapped a plume of hydrocarbons flowing 3,600 feet deep in the Gulf of Mexico and discovered exactly what was in it.
Life and Death in the Deep Sea
A team of scientists that had been studying deep-sea coral communities on the Gulf of Mexico seafloor before the oil spill was in perfect position to assess impacts afterwards.
A Small Sip from a Big Gusher
The impressive-sounding Isobaric Gas-tight sampler was invented at WHOI to sample fluids jetting from seafloor hydrothermal vents, but was equally adept at collecting oil and gas gushing out of the broken Deepwater Horizon wellhead.
Oil, Microbes, and the Risk of Dead Zones
WHOI chemist Ben Van Mooy deployed two methods, one very old and the other very new, to learn whether microbes were eating oil spilled in the depths and on the surface of the Gulf of Mexico.
Does Oil Affect Animals' Cellular Machinery?
Meet Nematostella vectensis. The tiny orange sea anemone could be the ideal 'lab rat' to examine how oil and other impacts from the Gulf of Mexico oil spill affect the genetic and molecular machinery of animals.
Gliders Tracked Potential for Oil to Reach the East Coast
In the early days of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, scientists and officials feared that oil could be transported through the Straits of Florida and up the East Coast. The scenario was entirely possible.
After the Oil Spill, Finding a Drop in the Ocean
WHOI scientists have found that a technique developed for entirely different reasons could readily be adapted to track the chemical components of the oil from the Deepwater Horizon disaster and the dispersant used to try to clean it up.
Tracking a Trail of Oil Droplets
Two new instruments, developed at WHOI for basic research on microscopic marine life, were readily adapted and employed to investigate the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
Related LinksA Guide to the Oil Spill Collection, 1957-2001
Manuscript Collection MC-63
16 boxes (7.5 lin. ft.)
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