Researchers from the Ecosystem Impacts of Oil and Gas Inputs to the Gulf, a 17-university consortium, have just completed a 16-day cruise to study the effects that the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill had on the environment, Hattiesburg American has reported.
Scientists studied current flow, ocean chemistry, microbial activity and deep-sea coral communities through the use of two remotely-operated vehicles that collected coral samples, sediment cores and water samples from as deep as two and a half miles below the ocean’s surface.
Researchers will use the data to better prepare for future oil spills. Specifically, researchers are interested to see if oil and dispersant together are more harmful to the environment than oil alone.
Image: Burning oil from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill (Credit: U.S. Coast Guard)