USF marine scientists confirm underwater plumes are dispersed from BP well
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07/23/10 Seán Kinane
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U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson briefs the media on the extent of the BP oil disaster in May at USF's College of Marine Science.


photo by Matthew Cimitile/WMNF

Researchers from the University of South Florida’s College of Marine Science in St. Petersburg say they have the first proof that dispersed oil below the surface of the Gulf came from BP’s Deepwater Horizon Well.

The USF researchers say they have used a “chemical fingerprinting process” to identify the source of subsurface clouds of “degraded underwater oil”

"Essentially we found two layers. The first layer was two miles long by six miles wide, by about 100 feet deep. The second layer that we found at about 1,000 meter was more diffused. It actually was between 1,000 and 1,200 meters. It extended for about 20 miles and was diffused on its sides as well. It seemed to have, again, the kind of dimensions that were equivalent to the 400 meter plume. Again, 20 miles long by about six miles wide. SO, these are pretty significant components. Or I should say features, size wise."

USF chemical oceanographer David Hollander calls the subsurface plumes a “three-dimensional catastrophe.”

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