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dish detergent on oily water

Oil and Water

After an oil spill, oil in the water can interfere with instruments scientists use to study the spill and its aftermath. WHOI scientists working in the Gulf of Mexico after the Deepwater Horizon spill used dish soap to "cut a hole" in the oil slick, through which they could safely lower their instruments. Several WHOI scientists did crucial research following the spill. Their projects included identifying a plume of petrochemicals 1100 meters underwater and showing that much of the dispersant used to break up the oil persisted in deep waters of the Gulf for months after the spill. (Photo by Chris Reddy, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)


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