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Images: Where did the oil in these tarballs come from?

Remnants of oil from the Deepwater Horizon spill persist on Gulf Coast beaches and provide invaluable clues to what happens to oil in the marine environment. Chris Reddy and colleagues, including Catherine Carmichael (pictured here), are collecting samples for analysis. (Photo by Chris Reddy, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

Tarballs were found on a piece of debris from the Deepwater Horizon oil rig floating near Cocodrie, La., 110 miles from the accident site. (Photo by Tom Kleindinst, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

GCxGC chromatograms of oil samples from the tarball (left) and the Macondo well (right) are virtually identical, proving that the tarball oil came from Deepwater Horizon. With funding from the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative, Reddy has set up a repository of Gulf oil samples and a website where scientists can request samples for research: www.whoi.edu/oilrepository. (Photos courtesy of Bob Nelson, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)