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Investigating the Potential Ecological Impacts of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and the Biologically-mediated Mechanisms of Removal of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs)

Implementing Organization

Louisiana State University


DWH Project Funding


Known Leveraged Funding


Funding Organization

Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI)

Funding Program

Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative GoMRI Grant Program


Project Category


Project Actions

Chemical Aspects Research

Targeted Resources

Human and/or Institutional Capacity

Project Description

The Deepwater Horizon oil spill was primarily an offshore, oceanic event. Much of the oil entered the surface waters and was mixed throughout the epipelagic zone (1-200 m). Large amounts of oil also formed deep, subsurface plumes (500-1500 m). In addition, dispersant was applied at both the surface and at the wellhead, and its distribution generally followed the oil (Kujawinski et al. 2011). The oil and, to a lesser extent, the dispersant represent a large injection of carbon to an otherwise oligotrophic environment.


Malinda Sutor
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