More Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative

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.
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...
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...
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...
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...
In marshlands along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, it's easy to hear the sharp, buzzing calls of seaside sparrows ( Ammodramus maritimus )—even if they can be hard to spot. These five-inch, brown...
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...
You are not alone if you don’t know what forams (short for foraminifera) are, so let’s start with the basics. Simply put, forams are single-celled organisms related to the familiar amoeba that...
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,...
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...
Drifters deployed into the Gulf of Mexico sent location information back to scientists through a GPS satellite. Some of the 5.7 million data points about the drifters locations are seen in this map...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
Subscribe to Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative