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:...
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...
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...
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...
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...
We often assume that an oil spill means instant death or long-term harm to all animals in the area. But things are rarely that simple, and wildlife can be surprisingly resilient. GoMRI researchers...
This video, produced by Waterlust, shows how the Consortium for Advanced Research on Transport of Hydrocarbon in the Environment (CARTHE) uses drifters to collect important data about the ocean...
The Gulf of Mexico is known for one of the world's largest “dead zones"—areas of low- or no-oxygen water along the seafloor that suffocate most animal life. The average size of the Gulf's dead zone (...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
Purple octocoral at ECOGIG study site.
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...
There are millions of tiny drifting plants in the sunlit ocean, called phytoplankton. They produce oxygen that humans end up breathing in and provide food for animals in the plankton (the zooplankton...
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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