A team of researchers led by Florida State oceanography professor Jeff Chanton has concluded that six to 10 million gallons of oil originating from the Macondo Prospect well are buried on the Gulf floor 60 miles southeast of the Mississippi Delta. “This is the first direct evidence that there is oil sediment on the Gulf floor,” Chanton said. “This is the first time we’ve ever really demonstrated that this is happening. There was anecdotal information this was happening. This really quantifies it.”
Chanton said that oil sinking to the sea bottom may have seemed like a good thing because the water appeared clear, but in the long term, “it might be a bad thing.” “If it’s on the sea floor the oxygen would be lower so that might mean it would hang around longer and be a source of contamination in the future. It would linger longer,” he said. “This is going to affect the Gulf for years to come. Fish will likely ingest contaminants because worms ingest the sediment, the fish eat the worms. It’s a conduit for contamination into the food web.”
Source: USA Today
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