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Sentry in the Gulf of Mexico

Sentry Lends a Hand in the Gulf

One year ago, oil from the Deepwater Horizon oil rig finally stopped flowing into the Gulf of Mexico. In December 2010, the autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) Sentry ventured to the Gulf to survey deep water coral sites near the source of the oil. WHOI biologist Tim Shank took Sentry back to the Gulf in May 2011 (shown here) to map and photograph additional sites supporting corals and other animals deep beneath the surface. During the trip, Shank and his colleagues surveyed more than 1,200 kilometers of seafloor and captured more than 100,000 images looking for coral sites to assess whether or not these communities have been impacted by the spill. They will be returning to sample these coral sites this Fall. (Photo by Tim Shank, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

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