More Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative

Purple octocoral at ECOGIG study site.
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...
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...
Jellyfish produce mucus, especially when stressed, which can interact with oil and break it down. This moon jellyfish is sloughing off mucus that has mixed with droplets of oil. Researchers from the...
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 deep sea crab ( Rochinia crassa ) poses with sea fan ( Callogorgia spp. ) and coral ( Lophelia pertusa ) on large carbonate boulder.
By Emily Frost Jellyfish aren't the passive creatures you think they are. While they appear to simply drift through the ocean, letting the currents take them where they may, they can also swim up and...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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 (...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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