Thursday, August 19, 2010

Gulf Oil Plume Is Not Breaking Down Fast, Research Says
By Justin Gillis and John Collins Rudolf

"New research confirms the existence of a huge plume of dispersed oil deep in the Gulf of Mexico and suggests that it has not broken down rapidly, raising the possibility that it might pose a threat to wildlife for months or even years."


Scientists report undersea oil plume stretching 21 miles from BP spill site By David A. Fahrenthold and Kimberly Kindy

"News of the plume was announced Thursday afternoon by researchers from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts. In late June, they found an invisible cloud of oil droplets as tall as a 65-story building and more than a mile wide.

Since then, they said, all that oil was unlikely to have been consumed by the gulf's crop of hydrocarbon-eating microbes. These work quickly in the warm waters near the surface, but far more slowly in the cold, deep region where the plume was found.

"Our data would predict that the plume would still be there now," said Benjamin Van Mooy, a Woods Hole researcher."

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