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Oil Spill Forensics

When an oil spill occurs, WHOI marine geochemist Chris Reddy often flies to the spill site to collect oil samples. In this case, Reddy only had to walk down the street from his house to study a small release of oil in Great Harbor in Woods Hole in January 2018. Using the same techniques he used in the Deepwater Horizon disaster and other large spills, Reddy analyzed the oil’s chemical composition and reported this crucial information to responders within four hours of sampling. Reddy continues to sample in Woods Hole to investigate how different chemical compounds in the oil are breaking down in the environment. (Photo by Ken Kostel, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)


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