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Scientists Confirm Underwater Plumes Are From Spill

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JOHN COLLINS RUDOLF
NY Times
July 25, 2010

Florida researchers said Friday that they had for the first time conclusively linked vast plumes of microscopic oil droplets drifting in the Gulf of Mexico to the Deepwater Horizon disaster.

The scientists, from the University of South Florida, matched samples taken from the plumes with oil from the leaking well provided by BP. The findings were the first direct confirmation that the plumes were linked to the spill, although federal scientists had said there was overwhelming circumstantial evidence tying them to BP’s well.

The discovery of the plumes several weeks into the oil leak alarmed scientists, who feared that clouds of oil particles could wreak havoc on marine life far below the surface. Plumes have been detected as far as 50 miles from the wellhead, although oil concentrations at those distances are extremely low, about 750 parts per billion.

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This article was posted: Sunday, July 25, 2010 at 4:23 am





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