Scientists to see if oil spill hurt deep sea life

October 29, 2010
This Sept. 2010 photo provided by Discovre Team 2010 shows deep sea corals on the bottom of the northern Gulf of Mexico, not far from where BP's underwater oil well blew out on April 20. Scientists are studying whether the crude damaged the corals or will lead to long-term impacts. (AP Photo/Discovre Team 2010)

(AP) -- A team of scientists are leaving on a research cruise to see if the BP oil spill hurt deep-sea coral and organisms that live around natural oil and gas seeps in the Gulf of Mexico.

It's counterintuitive, but scientists say an oil spill could hurt organisms such as tube worms and that eat oil, gas and gushing from natural oil and gas seeps. That's because these organisms can die if oil settles on them from above.

The biologists and geoscientists aboard the Gyre research vessel will tow a cage with a high-resolution digital still camera and take photographs of the depths. The vessel is expected to leave Friday from Texas.

The study is being led by geophysicist Bill Shedd of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management.

Explore further: Clean-up tools may help protect wetlands from Gulf of Mexico oil spill

0 shares

Related Stories

Recommended for you

New study sheds light on end of Snowball Earth period

August 24, 2015

The second ice age during the Cryogenian period was not followed by the sudden and chaotic melting-back of the ice as previously thought, but ended with regular advances and retreats of the ice, according to research published ...

Earth's mineralogy unique in the cosmos

August 26, 2015

New research from a team led by Carnegie's Robert Hazen predicts that Earth has more than 1,500 undiscovered minerals and that the exact mineral diversity of our planet is unique and could not be duplicated anywhere in the ...

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

liutenantdan
not rated yet Dec 28, 2010
IF?? Don't you mean "to what extent"?

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.