Microplastics in the Ocean – Separating Fact from Fiction
WHOI scientists weigh in on the state of marine microplastics science.
Sweat the Small Stuff
A Long Trail of Clues Leads to a Surprise About Oil Spills
Scientists followed evidence from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill to discover an unexpected phenomenon.
To Track an Oil Spill
WHOI scientists are helping to develop a robotic underwater vehicle that can track oil spills and help responders mitigate damage in remote or ice-covered areas such as the Arctic Ocean and the Great Lakes.
Did Dispersants Help Responders Breathe Easier?
Seven years after the disastrous Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the decision to inject chemical dispersants into the deep ocean has remained contentious. New evidence reveals an unexpected benefit.
Scientists and Navy Join Forces
When U.S. Navy were preparing a major NATO military exercise, they solicited help from WHOI scientists to plan how to mitigate potential environmental damage from oil spills.
New Use for Well-known Algae
A curious chemical compound in certain marine algae has been a godsend for oceanographers, helping them reconstruct past ocean conditions. Now the same compounds also may be useful in a completely different way: to produce…
Where Did Deepwater Horizon Oil Go?
The Deepwater Horizon oil spill was unprecedented, and five years later, scientists are piecing together new insights into how the oil moved and behaved in the deep ocean.
WHOI Scientists Garner Awards in 2013
As the year 2013 ends, we profile scientists who recently received awards and recognition for their work.
Do Oil and Corals Mix?
Scientists from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) helped find strong evidence that the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010 had impacts on deep-sea coral communities in the Gulf of Mexico. The study, published March 2012…
Tracking Toxic Chemicals in Oil Spills
I don’t do San Francisco like most people. I skip the cable cars, Lombard Street, Alcatraz, and the fine restaurants and museums. Soon after my flight arrives, I drive my rental car north over the…
Scientists Solve a Deepwater Horizon Mystery
Right after the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded April 20, 2010, marine scientist Monty Graham from the Dauphin Island Sea Lab in Alabama began exploring Gulf of Mexico waters to document the unfolding consequences of…
Every Chromatogram Tells a Story
Where is this mountainous landscape? Actually, that’s the wrong question. It’s a landscape, all right, but it’s a chemical landscape: You’re looking at oil from the Deepwater Horizon spill. Each colorful peak depicts an individual…
Up From the Seafloor Came a Bubbling Brew
Eleven days after the explosion at the Deepwater Horizon oil rig on April 20, 2010, representatives from BP called Andy Bowen at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI). “It had become obvious just how dire the…
Four Men. Twelve Hours. One Crucial Sample.
The prize they coveted amounted to nothing more than about four gallons of natural gas and less than a half-cup of oil. Where it came from, however, made it unique. Scientists at Woods Hole Oceanographic…
A Plume of Chemicals from Deepwater Horizon
Along with the torrent of hot gas and oil spewing from the bottom of the sea, hot hints and rumors were also streaming out of the Gulf of Mexico in the spring of 2010. Several…
A Small Sip from a Big Gusher
How much oil gushed out of the Deepwater Horizon well and into the Gulf of Mexico? For all stakeholders in the oil spill, that is a critical starting point for any discussions of fair settlements….
Oil, Microbes, and the Risk of Dead Zones
In the scramble to get to the Gulf of Mexico to study the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, Ben Van Mooy found out firsthand why the National Science Foundation called its emergency research funds “Rapid Response”…
Microbes Hitch Rides on Plastics in the Sea
This research was supported by the National Science Foundation, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, and the International Census of Marine Microbes initiative.
Plastic Particles Permeate the Atlantic
Recent reports of a “Great Pacific Garbage Patch” in the subtropical waters of the North Pacific Ocean described a floating island as large as Texas—so thick that one could potentially walk on plastic debris for…
New Head of WHOI Fleet Comes Aboard
<!– –> Sometimes, a career change has the feel of deferred destiny. “I was in the Caribbean,” said Rob Munier, “at Grand Cayman Island, doing graduate work in the mid-1970s, and one day there was…
Undersea Asphalt Volcanoes Discovered
The dome-like mounds poking up in sonar maps of the seafloor caught scientists’ eyes. They stood out in stark contrast to the surrounding environment off the coast of Santa Barbara, Calif. “They came up very…