Today marks the 5th anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion. 11 individuals were killed, 17 were injured, and over the next 3 months, approximately 5 million barrels of oil spilled into the Gulf of Mexico.
Scientists from across the world jumped into action and began studying every aspect of the Gulf, from the effects of oil on the animals, to the transport of the oil, and of course the economic impacts – and they have not stopped since.
As we take a moment today to look back on the last 5 years, we mourn the loss of life, but also celebrate the great science that has come out of such a terrible disaster. CARTHE has been awarded $35 million over 6 years from the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative, conducted 2 huge oceanographic experiments (with plans for 2 more), run countless computer models, and published over 80 peer-reviewed scientific articles. We have developed new, biodegradable, inexpensive drifters. We have discovered the impact of sub-mesoscale currents on oil transport. And we have tested our ability to respond to an oil/gas disaster during the Hercules event.
We hope that something like the Deepwater Horizon event never happens again, but if it does, we will be ready to help minimize the impacts on the environment, economy, and human health.
Five things the Gulf oil spill has taught us about the ocean
Smithsonian Magazine, by Hannah Waters
Five years after The Big Spril: Drill, questions continue in the Gulf
Miami Herald, by Jenny Staletavich
Research on oil transport that informs spill response
Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative
Written and illustrated by NRDC science scribe Perrin Ireland
CARTHE teamed up with The International SeaKeepers Society and Fleet Miami in September 2014 and March/April 2015 for a total of 6 days of experiments contributing to CARTHE’s new drifter design. The goal of this research is to test the
Ocean 180 Video Challenge is a national video competition for ocean scientists, judged by middle school students. Scientists are challenged to bring their latest research papers to life in a short video. We are happy to announce that 2 CARTHE/Waterlust videos were in
CARTHE graduate student Conor Smith is featured in an article by the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative: After the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, many Gulf residents wanted to know where the oil was going and how fast it would get
Ocean currents are streams of seawater that flow in the ocean, and are caused by wind, gravity, earth’s rotation, and differences in density. Currents can carry animals, nutrients, and even pollutants with them as they move. Therefore, it is important
The 38th annual University of Delaware “Coast Day” was held on October 5, 2014 in Lewes, Delaware – the home of the UD marine school. UD faculty shared their research, gave tours of their research vessels, and offered
The use of drones during the Surfzone Coastal Oil Pathways Experiment (SCOPE) helped scientists from CARTHE study how oil moves from offshore onto our beaches! This is an innovate approach to a complex problem with powerful results. Check out this
While assisting the SCOPE team conduct experiments on the research vessel, our group was also collecting bacterial samples directly from the sea surface and subsurface water about 20 cm deep. We are especially interested in bacteria that are known to
Summary During the summer months of 2014, I worked under Dr. Shuyi Chen to compare data from OSCAT and TRMM satellites with the UMCM-WMH model for 10-meter wind speed and rainfall forecasts within the Gulf of Mexico. Comparisons of model
Intern Nathan M. Murry – senior Oceanography major at Millersville University, working under Drs. Bruce Lipphardt and Helga Huntly at the University of Delaware. Entry 2: I am a senior student in Millersville University’s Physical Oceanography program. I have experience with environmental data analysis and