More Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative

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...
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...
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...
Some fish only spend a part of the year in the Gulf of Mexico, but some, like the Gulf killifish, live there year-round. In addition, these estuary fish are small and abundant, making them an...
There can be catastrophic results when a large amount of oil is spilled into the ocean—as when the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded and spewed oil into the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. But did you know that...
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...
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...
We all know to avoid touching or eating oil (the fossil fuel variety that is). But after a coastal oil spill, avoiding oil can be difficult if you live near the sea or rely on it for protein or your...
Purple octocoral at ECOGIG study site.
Pink dye was released along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico by CARTHE researchers and its movement tracked using underwater sensors, two small drones, a helicopter and a kite. In this photo you can...
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...
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...
These cells are from a pygmy sperm whale in a laboratory culture dish. The red dyed cell are forming into fat cells after exposure to endocrine disruptors. GoMRI researchers are looking to see if oil...
Graduate students Danielle Young from Temple University and Dannise Ruiz from Penn State preparing oil and dispersant solutions for exposure experiments with deep sea corals aboard the exploration...
This small drone helped scientists follow a trail of pink dye tracking water movement below the ocean surface in the Gulf of Mexico. Along with pre-placed underwater sensors, a helicopter, and a kite...
In the ocean world, there are many women to celebrate during Women’s History Month. Consider Rachel Carson , who started her career as a marine biologist, Sylvia Earle (“Her Deepness”), or our very...
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...
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...
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