Tag Archives: Gulf Oil Spill

Crabs and shrimp are flocking to the Deepwater Horizon spill site to mate, and it’s making them sick Christina Zdanowicz-Profile-Image


Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care
Excerpts;

The site of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill has become a popular mating ground for deep-sea crabs and shrimp.

Decomposing oil from the 2010 spill could be mimicking a sex hormone, and that’s what’s attracting these crustaceans to get frisky in this part of the Gulf, according to an August study published in the journal Royal Society Open Science…

Read Full Article; CNN (09-10-2019)

Continuing impacts of Deepwater Horizon oil spill; Science Daily (04-19-2019)
Nine years ago tomorrow, April 20, 2010, crude oil began leaking from the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig into the Gulf of Mexico in what turned out to be the largest marine oil spill in history. A long-term study suggests the oil is still affecting the salt marshes of the Gulf Coast…

Sunlight Reduces Effectiveness of Dispersants Used in Oil Spills


A plane releases chemical dispersant to break up an oil slick on the water surface below. Captions and Photo source: NOAA

Excerpts;

Two new studies have shown that sunlight transforms oil on the ocean surface more significantly and quickly than previously thought. The phenomenon considerably limits the effectiveness of chemical dispersants, which are during oil spills to break up floating oil and reduce the amount of oil that reaches coastlines.

A research team led by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) found that sunlight chemically alters crude oil floating on the sea surface within hours or days. In a follow-up study the team reported that sunlight changes oil into different compounds that dispersants cannot easily break up. The results of these two studies could affect how responders decide when, where, and how to use dispersants…

Read Full Article; WHOI (04-25-2018)

Gulf Spill oil dispersants associated with health symptoms in cleanup workers, study; Science Daily (09-19-2017)

Oil Dispersant Used in Gulf Oil Spill Causes Lung and Gill Injuries to Humans and Aquatic Animals, University of Alabama at Birmingham; 04-06-2015

First Study of Dispersants in Gulf Spill Suggests a Prolonged Deepwater Fate (01-27-2011)
To combat Deepwater Horizon oil spill, nearly 800,000 gallons of chemical dispersant were injected directly into the oil and gas flow coming out of the wellhead. Scientists begin to assess and to raise questions about what impact the deep-water residue of oil and dispersant, might have had on environment and marine life in the Gulf…

Gulf Oil Spill: Oil-Dispersing Chemicals Had Little Effect On Oil Surfacing, Science Daily (12-04-2012)
As the Deepwater Horizon incident unfolded, in an effort to prevent the oil from coming to the surface and reaching coastal and marsh ecosystems, chemical dispersants were injected at the wellhead. A new study is the first to examine the effects of the use of unprecedented quantities of dispersants, over such a prolonged period of time in the deep ocean…

Gulf Spill oil dispersants associated with health symptoms in cleanup workers, study

Oil Dispersant
An aircraft releases chemical dispersant over an oil slick in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. Captions and Photo source: NOAA /US Coast Guards

Excerpts;

Workers who were likely exposed to dispersants while cleaning up the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill experienced a range of health symptoms including cough and wheeze, and skin and eye irritation, according to scientists at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

The study appeared online Sept. 15 in Environmental Health Perspectives and is the first research to examine dispersant-related health symptoms in humans…

Read Full Article, Science Daily (09-19-2017)

Oil Dispersant Used in Gulf Oil Spill Causes Lung and Gill Injuries to Humans and Aquatic Animals, University of Alabama at Birmingham; 04-06-2015

First Study of Dispersants in Gulf Spill Suggests a Prolonged Deepwater Fate (01-27-2011)
To combat Deepwater Horizon oil spill, nearly 800,000 gallons of chemical dispersant were injected directly into the oil and gas flow coming out of the wellhead. Scientists begin to assess and to raise questions about what impact the deep-water residue of oil and dispersant, might have had on environment and marine life in the Gulf…

Gulf Oil Spill: Oil-Dispersing Chemicals Had Little Effect On Oil Surfacing, Science Daily (12-04-2012)
As the Deepwater Horizon incident unfolded, in an effort to prevent the oil from coming to the surface and reaching coastal and marsh ecosystems, chemical dispersants were injected at the wellhead. A new study is the first to examine the effects of the use of unprecedented quantities of dispersants, over such a prolonged period of time in the deep ocean…

Scientists and Academics Call For Immediate Halt of Chemical Dispersants in Gulf, The Ocean Foundation (07-26-2010)

BP oil spill did $17.2 billion in damage to natural resources, scientists find

deepwater-horizon-oil-spill
Fire boat response crews battle the blazing remnants of the off shore oil rig Deepwater Horizon April 21, 2010. A Coast Guard MH-65C dolphin rescue helicopter and crew document the fire aboard the mobile offshore drilling unit Deepwater Horizon, while searching for survivors April 21, 2010. Multiple Coast Guard helicopters, planes and cutters responded to rescue the Deepwater Horizon’s 126 person crew. Captions and Photo source: U.S. Coast Guard

Excerpts;

The 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill did $17.2 billion in damage to the natural resources in the Gulf of Mexico, a team of scientists recently found after a six-year study of the impact of the largest oil spill in US history.

This is the first comprehensive appraisal of the financial value of the natural resources damaged by the 134-million-gallon spill…

Read Full Article; Science Daily (04-20-2017)

The Deepwater Horizon aftermath

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Feather on oiled boom. Captions And Photo source: ©© Lance Cheung

Excerpts;

Researchers have analyzed 125 compounds from oil spilled in the Gulf of Mexico to determine their longevity at different contamination…

Read Full Article, Science Daily (12-19-2016)

USGS, NASA Study Finds Widespread Coastal Land Losses from Gulf Oil Spill; USGS (11-17-2016)

Gulf of Mexico perinatal dolphin deaths likely result of oil exposure; NOAA (04-12-2016)
The increased number of stranded stillborn and juvenile dolphins found in the Gulf of Mexico from 2010 to 2013 was likely caused by chronic illnesses in mothers who were exposed to oil from the Deepwater Horizon spill, scientists said today…

Is Gulf Oil Spill’s Damage Over or Still Unfolding? National Geographic (04-15-2015)

Oil Dispersant Used in Gulf Oil Spill Causes Lung and Gill Injuries to Humans and Aquatic Animals, University of Alabama at Birmingham (04-06-2015)
New research suggests that Corexit EC9500A, an oil-dispersal agent widely used in the Gulf of Mexico following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, contributes to damage to epithelium cells within the lungs of humans and gills of marine creatures…

Interactive Map: “Sixty-Seven Years of Oil and Gas Drilling in the Gulf of Mexico,” National Geographic (04-20-2015)

Why U.S. East Coast Should Stay Off-Limits to Oil Drilling, Yale E360 (02-28-2015)
It’s not just the potential for a catastrophic spill that makes the new proposal to open Atlantic Ocean waters to oil exploration such a bad idea. What’s worse is the cumulative impact on coastal ecosystems that an active oil industry would bring…

USGS, NASA Study Finds Widespread Coastal Land Losses from Gulf Oil Spill

oiled-marsh
Tar Mat in Marsh in Louisana’s Barataria Bay. Captions And Photo source: ©© NWF

BY USGS;

A new USGS-NASA study found widespread shoreline loss along heavily oiled areas of Louisiana’s coast after the 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill and compared the erosion from the spill with coastal changes Hurricane Isaac caused in 2012.

A pattern of dramatic, widespread shoreline loss along Louisiana’s coast caused by the 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill has been revealed by a new study by the U.S. Geological Survey and National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

Researchers used NASA’s annual mapping to analyze shoreline loss across most of upper Barataria Bay, located on the western side of the Mississippi River Delta. The study looked at shoreline imagery taken a year before the oil spill and then at images taken during a 2.5 year span after the spill. Scientists also compared shoreline losses from storm-induced erosion with losses linked to shoreline oiling.

The team found that although storm-induced erosion occurred at isolated shoreline sections, the pre-spill shoreline from 2009 to 2010 was largely stable. But, in the first year after the spill, from 2010 to 2011, the erosion pattern changed dramatically, with widespread erosion occurring throughout the bay. Erosion rates were highest along shorelines documented with heavy to moderate oiling, and were lower along shorelines that experienced low oiling.

In the second post-spill year, from 2011 to 2012, the higher loss rates extended to areas that experienced less oiling. Some of the shorelines studied received treatment to reverse or stop environmental damage from the spill, but researchers found no measurable difference in their erosion compared to non-treated shorelines.

In August 2012, 26-months after the post-spill period, Hurricane Isaac directly impacted Barataria Bay and erosion rates captured within the four-month period after the hurricane were the highest measured by the team. Researchers found this erosion was largely contained to the same isolated shoreline sections where erosion had occurred in the dominantly stable period before the spill occurred. While Hurricane Isaac did cause more severe erosion to occur at a few locations, the land loss from the oiling affected a much larger geographic area.

“Our study uniquely shows the patterns of shoreline recession seen in Barataria Bay are directly relatable to distinctly different causes,” said Amina Rangoonwala, USGS geophysicist and lead author of the study. “There was broadly dispersed erosion due to oiling from the Deepwater Horizon spill and more severe, but localized, erosion from Hurricane Isaac.”

The wetland impacts of the spill documented by the team included both shoreline erosion and wetland fragmentation, a process where small islands are broken into even smaller islands. Land lost in fragmented areas is unlikely to be reestablished because there are no new sediments flowing in to replenish what’s lost to erosion. This creates a higher possibility that natural coastal defenses against flooding will be reduced.

The images used for the study, which were collected during annual surveys and following Hurricane Isaac, were obtained from NASA’s Uninhabited Aerial Vehicle Synthetic Aperture Radar, developed and managed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The system operates from a C-20A research aircraft and its polarized radar produced detailed representations of the marsh, which USGS scientists then used to develop a process to analyze the shoreline recession and its causes.

“Through this process, USGS and NASA scientists developed a repeatable, quantitative mapping method that will allow us to monitor shoreline erosion after oil spills in the future,” said study co-author Cathleen Jones of JPL.

The study, “Wetland shoreline recession in the Mississippi River Delta from petroleum oiling and cyclonic storms,” was published in Geophysical Research Letters.

mapusg
This map shows how the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and Hurricane Isaac caused island fragmentation and changes in the Louisiana shoreline between June 2009 and October 2012. Graphic by USGS.

Original Article And Learn More, USGS (11-17-2016)

Deepwater Horizon oil spill caused widespread marsh erosion, Science Daily (09-27-2016)
The Deepwater Horizon oil spill six years ago caused widespread marsh erosion that may be permanent in some places, according to a new analysis of 270 miles of the Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama coasts…

Deepwater Horizon oil spill caused widespread marsh erosion

bp-oil-spill
Photo source: ©© TedX

Excerpts;

The Deepwater Horizon oil spill six years ago caused widespread marsh erosion that may be permanent in some places, according to a new analysis of 270 miles of the Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama coasts.

At the hardest-hit of 103 Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) sites, where oil covered more than 90 percent of plants’ stems, widespread die-off of grasses at the marsh edge occurred, followed by up to two years of accelerated erosion as dying plant roots lost their grip on marsh soil…

Read Full Article, Science Daily (09-27-2016)

Effective monitoring to evaluate ecological restoration in the Gulf of Mexico

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Gulf Oil Spill Bird Treatment in Louisiana. Photo source: ©© Brian Epstein / IBRRC

Excerpts;

To improve and ensure the efficacy of restoration efforts in the Gulf of Mexico following Deepwater Horizon — the largest oil spill in US history — a new report recommends a set of best practices for monitoring and evaluating ecological restoration activities.

The report finds that the majority of past U.S. restoration efforts have not been adequately monitored to assess or improve restoration efficacy. To date, monitoring activities have been dramatically underfunded, and very few programs monitor environmental and social results…

Read Full Article, Science Daily (07-26-2016)

BP Oil Spill Trashed More Shoreline Than Scientists Thought (04-20-2016)
The largest oil spill in U.S. history was even bigger than previously thought, at least in terms of the amount of coastline that was oiled, scientists report in a new study. The findings shed new light onto the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, which began six years ago…

Gulf of Mexico perinatal dolphin deaths likely result of oil exposure, NOAA (04-12-2016)

5 Years after Deepwater Horizon, Wildlife Still Struggling Dolphins Dying in High Numbers; Sea Turtles Failing to Nest, Science Daily (03-31-2015)

BP’s Oiled Animals: Where Are They Now? MNN (04-18-2013)
Across the northern Gulf of Mexico, which absorbed 200 million gallons of crude oil in 2010, the disaster still isn’t over. This Earth Day marks its third anniversary, highlighting a gradual shift from in-your-face emergency to subtle, behind-the-scenes villain…

BP Oil Spill Trashed More Shoreline Than Scientists Thought

bp-oil-spill
Photo source: ©© TedX

Excerpts;

The largest oil spill in U.S. history was even bigger than previously thought, at least in terms of the amount of coastline that was oiled, scientists report in a new study. The findings shed new light onto the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, which began six years ago Wednesday…

Read Full Article, National Geographic