The oil is on the Gulf floor

The oil did sink. It's on the seafloor.
Written by Boonsri Dickinson, Contributing Editor

The oil might have disappeared thanks to bacteria chomping oil or it is floating somewhere in the long plume. However, a lot of it is sinking to the bottom of the ocean. Scientists found a two-inch think layer on the seafloor.

The finding challenges the claim that the oil disappeared. But it is in no way definitive.

University of Georgia's professor Samantha Joyce wrote in her oil blog:

September 5th, 2010:  Sometimes, I get a feeling that the day is going to offer some surprises.  This morning, I had a feeling.

Today, at a site about 16 nautical miles from the wellhead, we dropped the multicorer into a valley.   When the instrument returned from the bottom, it contained something we had not seen before: a layer of flocculent, sedimented oil that was cm’s thick.

The oil definitely came from above and is not a natural seep. Scientists are pointing their finger at the dispersants for breaking up the oil — blaming it for allowing it to sick so deep where it's harder to degrade in colder temperatures.

BP and the government will dig deeper to investigate.

Image: Melitza Crespo via Gulf Oil Blog

Related on SmartPlanet:

Army of robots can clean up the oil spill

Where did the oil go? Scientists measure the 22-mile-long plume in the Gulf.

Bacteria are eating the oil plume

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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