More Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative

These tiny shells are the foraminifera Globobulimina affinis , found on the seafloor throughout the Atlantic Ocean. What makes this foram noteworthy is that it can survive where other forams can't:...
A deep sea crab ( Rochinia crassa ) poses with sea fan ( Callogorgia spp. ) and coral ( Lophelia pertusa ) on large carbonate boulder.
One of the biggest questions is how Gulf animals will fare in the years after the spill, since oil spill impacts don't often happen immediately. One group of GoMRI researchers studied salt marsh...
Researchers launch one-meter-tall plastic drifters into the Gulf of Mexico in 2012. Over 300 of these drifters were released and their location information was sent to researchers every five minutes...
Two years after being covered in an oil substance, from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010, deep-sea corals were colonized by hydroids and their branches began to break off.
By Emily Frost When oil spills in the ocean, slicks are the center of media attention because they do so much immediate harm to wildlife. Oil floating at the surface can harm fish, kill birds,...
By Emily Frost Throw a message in a bottle into the vast ocean and where does it go? The answer to this question is not just a romantic curiosity. Thinking about where a small floating item might end...
The Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI) was formed as a 10-year independent research program with money provided by BP to fund an independent research program looking at the impacts of the...
The “Dirty Blizzard of 2010” wasn’t a Nor’Easter. Instead, it was a blizzard of oil, marine microbes, "sea snot" produced by stressed-out microbes, and algae that stuck together after the Deepwater...
On the deep seafloor of the Gulf of Mexico, ecosystems made up of fish, corals, sea stars, anemones and other invertebrates flourish. Since the sun’s rays don’t reach the deep sea, coral communities...
Purple octocoral at ECOGIG study site.
Some of the biggest questions about oil spills center around tiny droplets: drops of oil, drops of water, and drops of dispersant. By looking at the interactions between these drops (as well as their...
One of the worst places for oil to end up after a spill is in marshes, where it can kill grass and cause erosion. But how much damage does it do, how far inland does it reach, and how long does the...
A boat full of SCOPE drifters waits to release small, biodegradable buoys that will travel throughout the Gulf of Mexico and send GPS coordinates to researchers. This is the second experiment by...
There are many sources of oil in the Gulf of Mexico, including natural deep-sea oil seeps, small spills from ships, and oil from roads that washes into the sea—not to mention big oil spills like...
When oil spills into seawater, it's hard to know where ocean currents will carry it. To map Gulf currents and improve predictions, scientists with GoMRI's GISR project are dropping biodegradable...
Dispersants, soap-like chemicals that cause oil to mix with water more easily, have been used with success to clean up oil spilled on the ocean's surface. But Deepwater Horizon wasn't a surface spill...
Subscribe to Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative