The Research Vessel Oceanus sailed on Aug. 21 on a mission to figure out what happened to the more than 4 million barrels of oil that gushed into the water. Onboard, Samantha Joye, a professor in the Department of Marine Sciences at the University of Georgia, says she suddenly has a pretty good idea about where a lot of it ended up. It's showing up in samples of the seafloor, between the well site and the coast.
"I've collected literally hundreds of sediment cores from the Gulf of Mexico, including around this area. And I've never seen anything like this," she said in an interview via satellite phone from the boat.
Joye describes seeing layers of oily material — in some places more than 2 inches thick — covering the bottom of the seafloor.
"It's very fluffy and porous. And there are little tar balls in there you can see that look like microscopic cauliflower heads," she says.
Sunday, September 12, 2010
The Bacteria Ate It, Not
In spite of what BP and some in the government are telling us, it appears like quite a lot of the leaked oil has found its way to the bottom and was not, in fact, consumed by hungry bacteria. It is just laying there and probably will be for quite some time. It is also no surprise that dead fish and shrimp are being found under the layer of oil. NPR: