ROVGroup photoParamuricea



Long-term effects of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill (GoMRI & ECOGIG)

November 6 to 28, 2012

R/V Falkor and ROV Global Explorer MK3  


On the final shakedown cruise for Schmidt Oceanographic Institute's research vessel Falkor, we traveled between various sites in the Gulf of Mexico in a continued effort to investigate ecosystem impact and recovery from the Deepwater Horizion oil spill. This was a multidisciplinary effort with researchers collecting and analyzing sediment cores and water samples, as well as constructing acoustic bathymetric maps and water columns surveys. Our primary objective was to collect two species of octocorals with the ROV Global Explorer, Paramuricea biscaya and Callogorgia americana, in order to perform live coral experiments aboard the ship. These experiments focused on investigating the lethality of crude oil and dispersant exposure to cold water corals to better understand benthic ecosystem impact and responses to the 2010 oil spill. Many coral community sites near and around the Macondo well were also revisted and imaged to examine coral health and potential recovery.

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