Sunday, May 16, 2010

The Scale of the BP Gulf of Mexico Disaster

Spilled oil coagulating up to 1,300 metres below surface and as far as 20 miles away from sunk Deepwater Horizon rig.

Ocean scientists in the Gulf of Mexico have found giant plumes of oil coagulating at up to 1,300 metres below the surface, raising fears that the BP oil spill may be larger than had been thought and that it might create huge "dead zones".

Experts from the National Institute for Undersea Science and Technology have been traversing the area around the scene of the Deepwater Horizon, the oil rig that exploded and sank on 20 April.

Using the latest sampling techniques, they have identified plumes up to 20 miles away from the Deepwater Horizon well head that continues to spew oil into the water at a rate of at least 790,000 litres a day. The largest plume found so far was 90 metres thick, three miles wide and 10 miles long.

Samantha Joyce, marine science professor at the University of Georgia, who is working on the project, told the Guardian: "The plumes are abundant throughout the region. I would say they've become characteristic of this environment."

Snip More at the Guardian UK.

790,000 liters is more than 280,000 gallons and that is being dumped into the Gulf of Mexico every day.

Drill baby drill; spill baby spill.