The Deep Submergence Vehicle Alvin is shown working at the coral site found to be impacted by the oil spill from the Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico. Compelling evidence of the impact of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on deep-sea corals will be published online in the early edition of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences during the week beginning March 26, 2012. The researchers, led by Penn State University Biologist Charles Fisher, used a wide range of underwater vehicles, including the research submarine Alvin, as well as comprehensive chemical-analysis techniques to determine precisely the source of the petroleum hydrocarbons they found on the corals.
Researchers led by Penn State University Biologist Charles Fisher used a wide range of underwater vehicles, including the research submarine Alvin, as well as comprehensive chemical-analysis techniques to determine precisely the source of the petroleum hydrocarbons they found on the corals. A portion of one of the impacted corals and two attached brittle starfish. Living tissue is orange and most of the skeleton is bare or covered by brown flocculent material. The brittle starfish are normal symbiotic partners of this type of coral. The brittle star on the left shows a more normal coloration for this species and the individual on the right is bleached white and much more tightly wrapped around the branch than normal. Both starfish were uncharacteristically immobile.
One of the impacted corals with attached brittle starfish. Although the orange tips on some branches of the coral is the color of living tissue, it is unlikely that any living tissue remains on this animal.
Video feed from the broken riser pipe at the Macando well. The oil flowed for about three months before engineers were able to cap the leak.
On May 9, 2010, oil continued to flow from a damaged offshore oil well in the Gulf of Mexico. This image from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA's Aqua satellite shows the slick on Sunday afternoon.
Vessels conduct skimming operations in the Gulf of Mexico near the site of the Deepwater Horizon incident May 16, 2010.
Oil mixed with dispersent floats on the surface of the Gulf during the Deepwater Horizon spill.
In this image acquired by ESA's Envisat on April 29, oil from the massive spill in the Gulf of Mexico can be seen as a dark blue swirl advancing toward the Louisiana coast. Envisat acquired this image with its Medium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MERIS). Credits: ESA
A Brown Pelican prepares to enter the water at the Egmont Key National Wildlife Refuge near St. Petersburg May 23, 2010. The bird was rescued and cleaned by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service after being found oiled near Louisiana's coast.
Carl Pellegrin (left) of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and Tim Kimmel of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service prepare to net an oiled pelican in Barataria Bay, La., Saturday, June 5, 2010. The pelican was successfully netted and transported to a facility on Grand Isle, La., for stabilization before being taken to Fort Jackson Oiled Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in Venice, La., for cleaning.
A controlled burn of oil from the Deepwater Horizon/BP oil spill sends towers of fire hundreds of feet into the air over the Gulf of Mexico.
U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) scientists collected environmental data and samples in coastal areas affected by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Samples of water, sediments, benthic invertebrates, and microorganisms were collected by the USGS at beach, barrier island, and wetland environments of the Gulf of Mexico coastal states before and after petroleum-associated product arrived on shore. In this photo, a sediment core is collected at at Henderson Beach State Park, Florida, by a USGS scientist from the Florida Science Center.
A seabird perches on a boom meant to keep floating oil away from vulnerable shorelines.
Bird footprints over tarball, taken on 19 Aug 2010, Mississippi Sound (Petit Bois Island).
"Taken on April 29, 2010, a few miles from the Deepwater Horizon epicenter. Flying along the miles of oil, we noticed many changes in its consistency," wrote photographer Ron Wooten. " Heavy crude gave way to sheen and long lines of mousse. As we flew closer to one of these areas of mousse, we noticed a great mass of creatures burst swimming through the lines, oblivious to their presence, as they would emerge through and dive into these areas of oil. Closer examination of the group showed approximately 100-150 striped dolphin, swimming with great haste through these lines."