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Peaks of Interest

MIT/WHOI graduate student Kristin Smith and marine chemist Chris Reddy examine data from a sample of oil that naturally seeped from the seafloor off the coast of Santa Barbara, California. The chemical analysis was generated by a comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatograph, which teases out the individual compounds within the complicated blends of chemicals in petroleum. Reddy and colleagues are using the new chromatograph—purchased with generous support from The Seaver Institute—to study how the naturally spilled oil decays, dissolves, and gets processed by the environment in order to learn more about what might happen when industrial petroleum spills. (Photo by Tom Kleindinst, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)


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