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sentry in the gulf

On-Call in the Gulf

In June 2010 WHOI investigators aboard the R/V Endeavor used the autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) Sentry to map a large, underwater hydrocarbon plume in the Gulf of Mexico arising from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Sentry can dive to depths of 4,500 meters, but, for this work, it operated at approximately 1,000 meters and was outfitted with an underwater instrument that enabled chemical measurements to be used as a guidance system for the vehicle. Equipped with its advanced analytical systems, Sentry was able to crisscross plume boundaries to help establish its size at 1.2 miles wide, 650 feet high and at least 22 miles long. This knowledge of the plume structure guided the team in collecting physical samples for further laboratory analyses. (Photo by Chris Reddy, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)


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