Aggregation and Degradation of Dispersants and Oil by Microbial Exopolymers 2 (ADDOMEx-2): Towards a synthesis of process and pathways of marine oil snow formation
Mount Allison University
DWH Project Funding
Known Leveraged Funding
Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI)
Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative GoMRI Grant Program
Chemical Aspects Research
The work proposed here will build on the previous findings of ADDOMEx. Specifically, research during ADDOMEx identified many of the bacteria and phytoplankton responsible for the copious production of transparent exopolymeric particles (TEP), exopolymeric substances (EPS), marine snow and marine oil snow (MOS) in the presence and absence of oil (as a water accommodated fraction; WAF), the dispersant Corexit, and Corexit-dispersed oil (as a chemically enhanced water accommodated fraction, CEWAF, and as a diluted form, herein called DCEWAF). The factors that influence or retard the subsurface scavenging of oil into MOS were determined and ongoing research is beginning to pinpoint the processes that promote decomposition of the oil post MOS formation.The next step is thus to integrate ADDOMEx derived insights into a comprehensive conceptual model framework. Key experiments will generate measurements needed to improve numerical modeling (in conjunction with FOMOSA and others) which will enhance prediction capabilities in order to guide the decision process of first responders. The primary experimental goal of ADDOMEx-2 is to perform a series of “wrap-up” experiments intended to fill current knowledge gaps.