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Press Release 10-148

Scientists Map Origin of Large, Underwater Hydrocarbon Plume in Gulf

Plume detected 22 miles long and more than 3,000 feet below surface

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Photo of Sentry, which criss-crossed the plume 19 times in deep Gulf waters.

Sentry criss-crossed the plume in deep Gulf waters 19 times to help determine its size and shape.

Credit: WHOI/Dan Torres


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National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration logo

The study was enabled by three rapid response grants from NSF's chemical oceanography program, with additional funding from the U.S. Coast Guard and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) through the Natural Resource Damage Assessment Program.

Credit: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration


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Photo of the vessel Endeavor embarking on a 12-day research expedition.

The vessel Endeavor, operated by URI, embarking on a 12-day research expedition.

Credit: University of Rhode Island


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Photo of scientists Rich Camilli and Chris Reddy aboard the Endeavor in the Gulf of Mexico.

Scientists Rich Camilli and Chris Reddy aboard the Endeavor in the Gulf of Mexico.

Credit: WHOI/Cameron McIntyre


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Photo of autonomous underwater vehicle Sentry being loaded onto a vessel.

Autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) Sentry is loaded onto the vessel.

Credit: Rich Camilli, WHOI


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Photo of the cable-lowered sampling system used to collect samples for lab analysis of the plume.

A cable-lowered sampling system was used to collect samples for lab analysis of the plume.

Credit: WHOI/Dan Torres


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Cover of the August 20 issue of the journal Science.

The researchers' findings are described in the August 20 issue of the journal Science.

Credit: Copyright AAAS 2010


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