Skip to comments.Plumes of Gulf Oil Spreading East on Sea Floor
Posted on 08/17/2010 2:35:04 AM PDT by lbryce
A new report set to be released Tuesday renews concerns about the long-term environmental impact of the Gulf Coast oil disaster, and efforts to permanently plug the ruptured BP oil well have been delayed again.
Researchers at the University of South Florida have concluded that oil from the Deepwater Horizon spill may have settled to the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico further east than previously suspected -- and at levels toxic to marine life.
Initial findings from a new survey of the Gulf conclude that dispersants may have sent droplets of crude to the ocean floor, where it has turned up at the bottom of an undersea canyon within 40 miles of the Florida Panhandle. The results are scheduled to be released Tuesday, but CNN obtained a summary of the initial conclusions Monday night.
Plankton and other organisms at the base of the food chain showed a "strong toxic response" to the crude, and the oil could well up onto the continental shelf and resurface later, according to researchers.
"The dispersant is moving the oil down out of the surface and into the deeper waters, where it can affect phytoplankton and other marine life," said John Paul, a marine microbiologist at USF.
The spill erupted April 20 with an explosion that sank the offshore drilling platform Deepwater Horizon. The blast killed 11 men and uncapped an undersea gusher that spewed an estimated 205 million gallons of oil into the Gulf before it was temporarily shut on July 15.
Retired Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen, the federal government's point man in the Gulf, said Monday that attempts to permanently seal the well won't start until the latest potential problem is evaluated.
(Excerpt) Read more at cnn.com ...
Cheers erupt from radical environmentalists everywhere.
Eric, with your experience, if anybody should know anything about this it would apparently be you. I live on the Gulf Coast and I’d like to know the facts. I read somewhere that up to 40% of this type crude was comprised of the more volatile fractions and evaporated within days of reaching the surface. The heavier fractions make up what percentage of this type crude?
How so? Are you saying there is NO natural seepage of oil into the oceans?
If that is the case you would be very wrong, “Captain”.
It would be nice if they'd tell us what sort of evidence this may is based upon, if there is any concrete evidence, or only a theory.
I rest my case, counselor, I mean Captain.
Get me the GPS numbers of these oil “seeps” in the East GOM and I’ll go out and take a look and see what the bottom looks like there and if there are any oil slicks around. I imagine these seeps might resemble the springs I see on the bottom that seem to attract the Gag grouper in large numbers.
In fact...I’ve looked at the bottom of the Gulf for the most part 25 years and have never seen a seep or an unexplained oil sheen on top of the water anywhere.
The rest of the time I longlined the top water fish.
Let me see if I understand the physics of this...You mix dispersants, which float on water, with oil, which floats on water, and the result sinks in water?
The eco-alarmists have been trying to sell this BS ever since the spill started.
Consider the source.
I'd say that if you believe this, the above shoe fits quite well.
I supplied you with links to what appear to be legitimate sources of info regarding natural seepage. There are literally dozens more if you google “natural oil seepage into the oceans”
That’s enough for me but if you want or need GPS coordinates then I suggest you contact these sources.
Where do you think their grant money comes from??? There is a clique at USF that has been glooming and dooming ever since the spill happened.
Without concentration numbers, the posted article is meaningless. "...at a level toxic to marine live..." just doesn't cut it. WHAT marine life?? There is a very great diversity of marine life, that can be affected by different concentrations of oil. The highest number that I have seen for oil in such "plumes" is 5 ppm, which can possibly kill some larval species, but won't affect more mature individuals of the same species.
We're not talking Exxon/Valdeez quantities, just spots here and there.
Does anyone know:
What’s the half life of these dispersants that were used? What happens to the crude when they become ineffective? Does it rise again or stay on the bottom?
If this is true it’s Obama’s fault for not having planned for it.
On May 28, the White House was boasting about how many gallons of dispersants had already been deployed.
On July 15, the EPA testified before Congress that they had given their blessing to the "novel" use of dispersants at the leak source.
The application of dispersant is part of a broader environmental triage approach to minimize the known threat to the environment to the greatest extent possible. The spill management strategies, practices, and technologies currently being implemented include mechanical removal techniques (use of sorbents, booming and skimming operations), in-situ burning, and lastly dispersants. There are environmental tradeoffs and uncertainties associated with the widespread use of large quantities of dispersants. We know dispersants are generally less toxic than the oils they break down. We know that surface use of dispersants decreases the environmental risks to shorelines and organisms at the surface and when used this way, dispersants break down over several days to weeks. In addition, the use of dispersants at the source of the leak represents a novel approach to addressing the significant environmental threat posed by the spill. Results to date indicate that subsea use of the dispersant is effective at reducing the amount of oil reaching the surface, and can do so by using less dispersant than is needed to disperse oil after it reaches the surface, and has resulted in significant reductions in the overall quantity of dispersants being used to minimize impacts in the deepsea.
This administration acknowledged the trade-off in using dispersants, made the decision to use dispersants, and now must deal with their own consequences. btw, contrary to what the EPA says about the "novel approach" of using dispersants at the source, it was a horrendous call. The oil should have been allowed to rise to the surface at the site so that it could be easily separated from the water. Any chemical engineer could explain the value of separation. The addition of emollients deprives one of the ability to extract the oil from the water.
That is total BS!!! If you don't know what you are talking about, you should go LEARN more. I'm amazed at the "libs" that are here on FR ... a little misinformation and they come out like frogs in the rain. I love to watch them dance to the piper's tune ... enjoying the dance?
Just some greenie having a knee jerk reaction and looking for grant money. If this oil is down there it is very dilute and is being degraded naturally. It will never end up covering beaches, killing coral or fishes.
How much phytoplankton is found in deeper waters? Phytoplankton depend on sunlight.
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