Dr. Jeff Chanton leads team of ECOGIG & DEEP- C colleagues in locating 6-10 Million Gallons of Deepwater Horizon oil buried in the sediment on GOM floor

Dr. Jeff Chanton leads team of ECOGIG &  DEEP- C colleagues in  locating 6-10 Million Gallons of Deepwater Horizon oil buried in the sediment on GOM  floor
Oil on the surface of the Gulf of Mexico from the Deepwater Horizon accident in 2010. (c) ECOGIG

February 02, 2015

A nine-member research team, led by ECOGIG's Dr. Jeff Chanton, published a paper in the latest edition of the journal Environmental Science & Technology locating - for the first time - 6  to 10 million gallons of Deepwater Horizon oil buried in the sediment on the Gulf of Mexico sea floor about 60 miles south east of the Mississippi Delta. The study used carbon 14, a radioactive isotope, to determine the location of the oil (oil does not have carbon 14 so it shows up readily when carbon 14 is used). Researchers then used GIS to create a map of the oiled sediment distribution on the sea floor.

The full article "Using natural abundance radiocarbon to trace the flux of petrocarbon to the seafloor following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill" is available here.

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