All for Joomla All for Webmasters


JUser: :_load: Unable to load user with ID: 976

06 Jun

'Dirty Blizzard' sent 2010 Gulf oil spill pollution to seafloor

(0 votes)

Scientists working in the Gulf of Mexico have found that contaminants from the massive 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill lingered in the subsurface water for months after oil on the surface had been swept up or dispersed. In a new study, they also detailed how remnants of the oil, black carbon from burning oil slicks and contaminants from drilling mud combined with microscopic algae and other marine debris to descend in a "dirty blizzard" to the seafloor.

The work, published May 30 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, confirms that contaminants found in the water column and on the seafloor were indeed from the Deepwater Horizon spill, and not from the many natural oil seeps in the Gulf. The initial dispersal of materials in the water made pollutants hard to detect, but the eventual accumulation of "marine snow" concentrated the toxins on the seabed, where they can enter the food web, possibly affecting fish and corals in deep waters.


The findings suggest that the ecological effects of oil spills could last longer than previously thought. The paper comes on the heels of the most recent spill, detected May 12. About 88,200 gallons of oil were released from an underwater pipeline operated by Shell about 90 miles off the coast of Louisiana, according to news reports. Much of the oil has been recovered, and there are as yet no reported impacts on wildlife. But scientists are just beginning to assess the effects.

"We knew oil pollutants can be carried downward by marine snow, but we didn't expect the pollutants to stay in the water for such a long time," said Beizhan Yan of the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, an environmental chemist who is lead author of the study.

Some researchers have contended that contaminants found on the seafloor could be coming from natural oil seeps. But Yan and colleagues used various "fingerprinting" techniques to demonstrate that the hydrocarbons in the water were derived from crude oil of the kind leaking from the Deepwater Horizon site. The presence of barium and the distribution of olefin compounds, two key components in drilling mud, confirmed the contaminants were associated with the spill.

"It's kind of like a smoking gun for the source of the contaminants," Yan said.

The study also sheds light on why these contaminants can stay so long—five months—in the water column. "The deposition of hydrocarbons was largely controlled by the particle sources, which are available sporadically," Yan said. "Hydrocarbons, especially high molecular weight ones, were adsorbed tightly to fine particles. These fine particles can linger in the water column for weeks." But a bloom of diatoms, microscopic marine plants, acted as a "dust bunny" to accumulate the particles and carry them below after the diatoms died, he said.

"Normally we don't think of oil as sinking," said co-author Uta Passow, a biological oceanographer at the Marine Science Institute at the University of California Santa Barbara. "People in the past have not really ever considered oil coming to the seafloor, especially very, very deep. We now know how the oil gets down there in large amounts and affects the communities that live there."

Though it's tough to measure exactly how much of the spilled oil winds up on the seafloor, Passow said it could be substantial. "I would argue it's probably more than 10 percent, probably even more than 15 percent," she said. That could add up to millions of gallons.

Other studies have documented how the oil and other contaminants dispersed, and have established that petroleum hydrocarbons from the spill have accumulated on the seafloor. Scientists also have known that phytoplankton, microscopic marine plants, play a role in delivering the oil to the seafloor. In the new study, the researchers describe how that happens.


Read 43055 times Last modified on Tuesday, 14 June 2016 10:54

Etiam sit amet orci eget eros faucibus tincidunt. Duis leo. Sed fringilla mauris sit amet nibh. Donec sodales sagittis magna. Sed consequat, leo eget bibendum sodales, augue velit cursus nunc, quis gravida magna mi a libero. Fusce vulputate eleifend sapien.



  • Lélio Vieira Carneiro Junio posted by Lélio Vieira Carneiro Junio Thursday, 19 October 2017 22:55

    Highly descriptive post, I liked that bit. Will there be a part 2?|

    Comment Link
  • Lelio Junior posted by Lelio Junior Thursday, 19 October 2017 20:59

    Greetings! Very helpful advice in this particular post! It is the little changes that produce the greatest changes. Thanks for sharing!|

    Comment Link
  • Carlos Eduardo Correa da Veig posted by Carlos Eduardo Correa da Veig Thursday, 19 October 2017 19:05

    Everything is very open with a very clear description of the issues. It was truly informative. Your website is useful. Many thanks for sharing!|

    Comment Link
  • Itamar Serp posted by Itamar Serp Thursday, 19 October 2017 16:56

    you are really a good webmaster. The site loading pace is amazing. It sort of feels that you're doing any unique trick. Also, The contents are masterpiece. you have performed a wonderful task on this matter!|

    Comment Link
  • 检测设备进口报关关税 posted by 检测设备进口报关关税 Thursday, 19 October 2017 15:29

    3、 可覆盖10平方公里。结合打造以车、桩联合运营为核心的充电网络智慧云平台,ú?·?占到整个梅多克产区葡萄酒总产量的38%。开发高程、三维模拟、泄漏计算等事故模拟应急功能。该统计数据还显示。4倍。今年上半年长安汽车成绩单“出炉“:1-6月,可谓势头迅猛。

    Comment Link
  • Itamar Serp posted by Itamar Serp Thursday, 19 October 2017 14:44

    With havin so much written content do you ever run into any problems of plagorism or copyright violation? My blog has a lot of exclusive content I've either written myself or outsourced but it appears a lot of it is popping it up all over the internet without my agreement. Do you know any ways to help prevent content from being ripped off? I'd truly appreciate it.|

    Comment Link
  • Food Machinery Svejsning posted by Food Machinery Svejsning Thursday, 19 October 2017 14:23

    SPILLCONGO S.A.R.L - 'Dirty Blizzard' sent 2010 Gulf oil spill pollution to seafloor

    Comment Link
  • אול סקס posted by אול סקס Thursday, 19 October 2017 13:48

    I absolutely adore your site! You aggressive me as able-bodied as all the others actuality and your broiled PS is absolutely great!

    Comment Link
  • Umanizzare presídios posted by Umanizzare presídios Thursday, 19 October 2017 12:39

    This post provides clear idea in favor of the new visitors of blogging, that in fact how to do running a blog.|

    Comment Link
  • Mobil Usb Charger posted by Mobil Usb Charger Thursday, 19 October 2017 11:34

    SPILLCONGO S.A.R.L - 'Dirty Blizzard' sent 2010 Gulf oil spill pollution to seafloor

    Comment Link

Leave a comment

Make sure you enter the (*) required information where indicated. HTML code is not allowed.

Clients Testimonials

Joomla Module OT Testimonial powered by

Join Newsletter

By subscribing to our mailing list you will always be update with the latest news from.

Don't worry, we hate spam!

Flickr Feed

Visitors Counter


Visitor Info

  • IP: