Research Looks at How Oil and Water Mix in Gulf Waters in Spill Aftermath
(Texas A&M University)
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Studying the turbulence in Gulf waters is helping researchers understand how oil and water mix in the waters of the Gulf of Mexico – data that will come in handy during the aftermath of an oil spill.
Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi student, Jonathan Zikos, a senior environmental chemistry student of Dr. Darek Bogucki, Assistant Professor in the Department of Physical & Environmental Sciences, has spent the summer working on the data collected in 2012 near the site of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, which released nearly 4.4 million barrels of crude oil into the Gulf in 2010.
“The turbulence measurements of the upper two meters will allow for better prediction of oil mixing and spreading,” Bogucki said. “Ultimately letting us predict what kind of action we need to take when faced with another oil spill.”
Examining the particles in the turbulence allows scientists to determine if particles are likely to sink or to stay at the surface, or detect the presence of oil in the water.