Gulf surface cleaner, but questions lurk far below

Aug 18, 2010 By SETH BORENSTEIN , AP Science Writer
In this Aug. 16,2010 file photo, faint streaks of weathered oil are seen on the Gulf of Mexico near the coast of Louisiana. Scientist studying the gulf oil spill differ on the amount of oil that was spilled into the Gulf of Mexico from the BP Deepwater Horizon rig, how much remains in the water and the long term effect on the environment. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

(AP) -- Researchers are warning that the Gulf of Mexico oil spill is a bigger mess than the government claims and that a lot of crude is lurking deep below the surface, some of it settling perhaps in a critical undersea canyon off the Florida Panhandle.

The evidence of microscopic amounts of oil mixing into the soil of the canyon was gathered by scientists at the University of South Florida, who also found poisoned plant plankton - the vital base of the ocean food web - which they blamed on a toxic brew of oil and dispersants.

Their work is preliminary, hasn't been reviewed by other scientists, requires more tests to confirm it is BP's oil they found, and is based on a 10-day research cruise that ended late Monday night. Scientists who were not involved said they were uncomfortable drawing conclusions based on such a brief look.

But those early findings follow a report on Monday from Georgia researchers that said as much as 80 percent of the oil from the spill remains in the Gulf. Both groups' findings have already been incorporated into lawsuits filed against BP.

Both groups paint a darker scenario than that of federal officials, who two weeks ago announced that most of the oil had dissolved, dispersed or been removed, leaving just a bit more than a quarter of the amount that spewed from the well that exploded in April.

At the White House on Aug. 4, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration chief Jane Lubchenco said: "At least 50 percent of the oil that was released is now completely gone from the system, and most of the remainder is degrading rapidly or is being removed from the beaches."

That's not what the scientists from South Florida and Georgia found.

"The oil is not gone, that's for sure," University of South Florida's David Hollander said Tuesday. "There is oil and we need to deal with it."

University of Georgia's Samantha Joye said: "It's a tremendous amount of oil that's in the system. ... It's very difficult for me to imagine that 50 percent of it has been degraded."

Marine scientist Chuck Hopkinson, also with the University of Georgia, raised the obvious question: "Where has all the oil gone? It hasn't gone anywhere. It still lurks in the deep."

NOAA spokesman Justin Kenney defended his agency's calculations, saying they are "based on direct measurements whenever possible and the best available scientific estimates where direct measurements were not possible." But the vast majority of it is based on "educated scientific guesses," because unless the oil was being burned or skimmed, measurements weren't possible, NOAA response scientist Bill Lehr said earlier this month.

What is happening in the Gulf is the outcome of a decision made early on in the fighting of the spill: to use to keep the surface and beaches as clean as possible, at the expense of keeping oil stuck below the surface, said Monty Graham, a researcher at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab in Alabama who was not part of the latest work. Oil degrades far more slowly in cooler, deeper waters than it would at the surface.

At the surface and the top 100 feet or so, it is obvious why oil is harmful, fouling marshes and hampering sea turtles, fish, birds and other life. Deep down, the effects are subtler, less direct. Oil at that depth can chip away at the base of the food web - plant plankton - and that could cause animals to go hungry. Reduced oxygen levels from natural gas and oil could also starve creatures of oxygen.

At depths of 900 to 3,300 feet, the University of South Florida researchers found problems with plant plankton. About two-fifths of the samples showed "some degree of toxicity."

"We found general phytoplankton health to be poor," Hollander said. By comparison, in non-oiled southern parts of the Gulf, the plant plankton were healthy, researchers said.

That makes sense because past research has shown that when oil when gets into the cell membranes of plankton, it causes all sorts of problems, said Paul Falkowski, a marine scientist at Rutgers University who was not part of the research. However, he said plant plankton don't live long anyway. They have about a week's lifespan, he said, and in a few months this insult to the base of the food web could be history.

Still, the brew that is poisoning the plankton may linger and no one knows for how long, Hollander said.

The Florida researchers used ultraviolet light to illuminate micro-droplets of oil deep underwater. When they did that, "it looked like a constellation of stars," Hollander said.

He also found the oil deposited in the sea bottom near the edges of the significant DeSoto Canyon, about 40 miles southwest of Panama City, Fla., suggesting oil may have settled into that canyon. The canyon is an important mixing area for cold, nutrient-laden water and warmer surface water. It is also key for currents and an important fisheries area.

"Clearly the oil down in the abyss, there's nothing we can do about it," said Ed Overton of Louisiana State University. He said the environment at the surface or down to 100 feet or so is "rapidly going back to normal," with shrimpers starting their harvest. But below 1,000 feet degrades much more slowly, he said.

Joye has measured how fast natural gas, which also spewed from the BP well, can degrade in water, and it may take as much as 500 days for large pools to disappear at 3,000 feet below the sea. That natural gas starves oxygen from the water, she said.

"You're talking about a best-case situation of a year's turnover time," Joye said.

Explore further: Study evaluates reef corals' ability to persist over various time scales

More information: University of Georgia's oil spill page: http://oilspill.uga.edu

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Scientists probe leak risk from seabed CO2 stores

15 minutes ago

A UK-led international research team has carried out the first experiment to recreate what would happen if CO2 started leaking after being stored deep under the sea floor. Their findings add weight to the ide ...

Report IDs 'major weaknesses' at nuclear-arms lab

16 hours ago

One of the nation's premier nuclear weapons laboratories is being called out by the inspector general of the U.S. Department of Energy for "major weaknesses" in the way it packaged contaminated waste before shipping it to ...

User comments : 38

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

gunslingor1
5 / 5 (2) Aug 18, 2010
They have about a week's lifespan, he said, and in a few months this insult to the base of the food web could be history.
-They are the base of the food chain.. a lot of them will be eaten and the oil will be compounded in larger lifeforms, as is the case with mercury.. hence, the largest fish contain the most mercury.
gunslingor1
5 / 5 (2) Aug 18, 2010
"US scientists said in the inter-agency report that burning, skimming and direct recovery had removed one quarter of the oil. Another 25 per cent had naturally evaporated or dissolved, and 24 per cent had been dispersed, either naturally or chemically, the report said."

-Now here is the non-deceptive and accurate way to write that report, without propaganda and without standing on plausible deniability rather than science:

"US scientists said in the inter-agency report that burning, skimming and direct recovery had removed one quarter of the OILY WATER. Another XXX% had naturally evaporated, XXX% dissolved, and 24 percent had been dispersed, either naturally or chemically, the report said. Based on these numbers, a minimum of 50% of the oil remains in dispersed/dissolved form, 25% is unaccounted for at all, and we don't know how much oil is in the "oily water". These numbers are based on XXX barrels per day, which is -50% to +100% accurate."
GSwift7
1 / 5 (2) Aug 18, 2010
Wait, Wait, Wait, this is funny!! So the liberal scientists are attacking the Obama administration? lololol.

Seriously, do you guys realize how much petroleum makes its way into the ocean every day due to natural forces? Despite the shocking headlines, the BP disaster is not that big of a deal on a global scale. Oil and natural gas are being released in massive quantities all over the globe as we speak, and nobody will ever know. As they say in Douglas Adams' "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy": DON'T PANIC.
gunslingor1
5 / 5 (2) Aug 18, 2010
Globally, the oil is projected to reach the europe.

No, oil is not typically released, gas on the other hand is. get your facts straight.

And yes, reasonable people always question their leadership unlike the Bush cronies whom used to say things like "he's our leader and we have to support everything he does". Bush himself called himself "the decider". I would call Obama "the compromiser"; that healthcare bill and the climate bill are both products of the GOP. If it was "Obama Care" we would have socialized medicine like all other developed countries and cap and trade would still be in the climate bill.

Yes, I am proud to question Obama, a man I support. I question all decisions, I do not beleive everything I read, I question all authority with a "trust but verify attitude". You should start doing the same, be a responsible citizen.

Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (1) Aug 18, 2010
Seriously, do you guys realize how much petroleum makes its way into the ocean every day due to natural forces?

Should I go back to the dog shit analogy or are you satisfied not answering it only the one time?
http://www.physor...595.html
gunslingor1
3.7 / 5 (3) Aug 18, 2010
Gswift is all about propaganda. he likes to post a comment and not listen to the responses, probably because his comments are based on fantasy, desires and beleifs.

Hey Gswift, please enlighten us... Tell us one time that 150 million gallons of oil were naturally release, I want location, time and how long it lasted.

Yeah, that's what I thought. Your an imbecile amongst experts, a shame you people get more media coverage, a shame you have the backing of big oil but no surprise there.

Gswift, do you just not care? I mean, you don't think GW is real, you think oil is good for the environment, you think oil seeps hundreds of milions of gallons all the time, you do not care about biodiversity, you care not about human health. I've had these conversations with you many times. So what the hell do you care about?
GSwift7
1 / 5 (1) Aug 20, 2010
At least do a google search before making your incorrect statements:

http://www.spring...eebanrl/

It's called a petroleum seep, and it's common. Nearly half of all oil in the oceans is from natural causes. By the way, I don't like Bush. He spent nearly as much money as Obama is, and he didn't have a clue how to speak intelligently in public, just for starters. There were many other things I didn't like about Bush.
GSwift7
1 / 5 (1) Aug 20, 2010
Grrrr. The site erased two of my other links. Here's a wiki page about seeps:

http://en.wikiped...eum_seep

From the above wiki: "In the Gulf Coast, there are more than 600 natural oil seeps that leak between five and one million barrels of oil per year - roughly 4k to 200k tonnes"

I will continue to refuse to respond to name-calling, or comments with inappropriate language, or comments with political attacks. All such posts violate the commenting guidelines of this site, and I will continue to report them.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (1) Aug 20, 2010
Grrrr. The site erased two of my other links. Here's a wiki page about seeps:

http://en.wikiped...eum_seep

From the above wiki: "In the Gulf Coast, there are more than 600 natural oil seeps that leak between five and one million barrels of oil per year - roughly 4k to 200k tonnes"

And these natural seeps are akin to a one time spout of several million barrels how?

Again, I'd suggest you honestly answer the dog feces analogy I provided on the other page.
GSwift7
1 / 5 (1) Aug 20, 2010
Skeptic, I was responding to gunslingor's claim that oil doesn't come out of the ground into the ocean on it's own. He needs to read more before forming opinions. I'll see if the comment you're talking about deserves a response if I can find it. What story was the comment in?
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (1) Aug 21, 2010
Skeptic, I was responding to gunslingor's claim that oil doesn't come out of the ground into the ocean on it's own. He needs to read more before forming opinions. I'll see if the comment you're talking about deserves a response if I can find it. What story was the comment in?
Here you go.
http://www.physor...595.html

Appears I've crossed the poster identities a bit.
Caliban
5 / 5 (1) Aug 21, 2010
Skeptic, I was responding to gunslingor's (...) What story was the comment in?


GSwift7,
No one is likely to deride you for issuing a correction. Possibly, you might even be thanked for pointing out a fallacy.

However, that is entirely different than implying that the oil that seeps naturally into the Gulf, has been for thousands or millions of years, and which has over that time become integrated into the ecosystem, is in any way comparable to a sudden, massive discharge of 200 MILLION GALLONS OF CRUDE OIL -and that is likely to be a VERY conservative estimate of the total. Do you see the difference? It is not a laughing matter.

The effects of this disaster are going to be extensive and long-lived, and are going to have to be taken very seriously and realistically, which sadly, seems unlikely, at least so far, given the deliberate(one might even say criminally conspiratorial) efforts on the part of government to downplay its extent.

gunslingor1
5 / 5 (1) Aug 23, 2010
Lets recap-

Gswift:
"Despite the shocking headlines, the BP disaster is not that big of a deal on a global scale. Oil and natural gas are being released in massive quantities all over the globe as we speak, and nobody will ever know."

Gunslingor:
"Tell us one time that 150 million gallons of oil were naturally release, I want location, time and how long it lasted."

Gswift:
"In the Gulf Coast, there are more than 600 natural oil seeps that leak between five and one million barrels of oil per year - roughly"

According to your own words, 1-5 million barrels leaking into the gulf from 600 different sites throughout, over the course of a year is a "massive quantity". Yet 200 million released from a single location in a few months is "not a big deal".

If we are talking "massive quantites", then yes, my arguement still stands... compared to natural gas, there is very little seepage of oil.
GSwift7
1 / 5 (1) Aug 23, 2010
No, I think you're reading it wrong. It means there are over 600 sites in the gulf alone, each leaking between 5 barrels and 1 million barrels per year. Look it up for yourself. This is a topic covered in many places. Have you ever heard of the lake of tar which supplies almost all of the tar for road paving on the east coast of the US? I don't remember the dimensions of the lake but it's huge. It's down in the gulf on one of the islands. Oil, tar, gas, etc. are commonly released by natural forces. The BP leak isn't big compared to what mother nature commonly does. Can you pu-lease go read up on it, in stead of doubting what I say just because it's me saying it? I'm not some evil hater spewing nonsense like what you have in your posts. You were clearly wrong when you claimed that oil doesn't leak naturally. Stop letting the sensationalist headlines of the media fool you into false beliefs.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (1) Aug 23, 2010
No, I think you're reading it wrong. It means there are over 600 sites in the gulf alone, each leaking between 5 barrels and 1 million barrels per year. Look it up for yourself.
No, you're reading it worng.

From the source for that entry the total seep amount is about 200,000 tons at absolute peak for the north america on the whole. There are approximately 7 barrels per metric ton of oil. (SpGr of 0.88). That is a TOTAL of approxiamtely 1.4 million barrels for ALL of North America.
GSwift7
1 / 5 (2) Aug 23, 2010
Okay, I stand corrected. I misinterpreted it. I however maintain my stance that mother nature is better able to handle things like this than you seem to believe. The effects of this spill may last a decade or perhaps you'll still even find traces of evidence in two decades, but to propose that any real significant effects will be observable over significant time frames is absurd. What are you worried about most? Wildlife? It will recover faster than you can believe. People? Worse things happen to regional economies all over the world every day. People get up and move on. I've survived some prety drastic events in my life and I'm still fine.
gunslingor1
3 / 5 (1) Aug 23, 2010
Gswift, I am perfectly aware of the planet and life's ability to adapt to changing conditions. To make an anology for the planet, you can cut your arm and in will heal... if you cut your arm off, it will not heal... If you cut your arm deep enough, you may still have a working arm but with a discusting scare the remainder of your life.

All of us need to recognize the same hold true for the planet. It can adapt to some stuff over certain timelines, but it cannot adapt to everything over any timeline.

The question then becomes, how much is to much. By any reasonable calculations.. what we have now is to much. CO2 doesn't double in 50 years magically. CO2 was 70% of the planets atmospher when it formed and started to cool.. where did it go? it was converted by plants into coal and oil and gas, stored underground for a long time.

So, how much is too much? Burn all the fossil fuels on the planet and you'll probably approach the original atmospheric content of the planet. not good.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (1) Aug 23, 2010
Okay, I stand corrected. I misinterpreted it. I however maintain my stance that mother nature is better able to handle things like this than you seem to believe. The effects of this spill may last a decade or perhaps you'll still even find traces of evidence in two decades, but to propose that any real significant effects will be observable over significant time frames is absurd.

Again, a 200 fold increase over a month from the yearly average is an absolutely insane amount of change for volatile petroleum spills.

Nature is not ready for that, you're a fool if you think otherwise.

I've survived some prety drastic events in my life and I'm still fine.
Answer me this, how would you deal with a 200 fold increase in the amount of trash you create over a day? That's 365 days worth of trash multiplied by 200 delivered to your doorstep all at once?

Do you think your town, or even the local landfill could handle that? Don't be retarded.
gunslingor1
5 / 5 (2) Aug 23, 2010
Gswift, no one is disputing that the planet will servive this single particular spill... it will, but the effect will only be negative and may very well be cumulative in the long run, if we keep this up.

Fact of the matter is that if you eat fish out of the gulf, your life expectancy will be negatively affected based on the quanitites you eat.

Eating diets high in fish used to indicate a longer lifespan. The oldest man ever was an oriental guy who lived to be 120 and didn't eat much other than a bowl of rice and one prawn each day. However now, it indicates a shorter lifespan due to mercury poisoning and other unregulated pollutents. Anyone eating fish out of the gulf can expect the dangers from cumative contaminents to be larger than the rest of the world for obvious reason and based on standards from 30 years ago, they would be illegal to eat. Contaminents found in fish are 10 times higher than the legal limit dictated 30 years ago.. so they changed the limit.
gunslingor1
5 / 5 (2) Aug 24, 2010
GSwift7
1 / 5 (2) Aug 24, 2010
gunslingor, that's patently wrong. The EPA, NOAA, and FDA all say that the fish is as safe as it's ever been. Only one sample out of 1007 had any trace of dispersant or oil, and the source of that isn't the BP rig for sure. The article you just linked actually says that it could be an oxygen problem from the dam. Read up, that has happened before but physorg, of courses, doesn't mention it.

Even the liberal leaning "USA Today" featured a story today saying that the fish in the gulf appears to be safe. Google is your friend.

Anyway. You guys have your opinion and I have mine. Mine is as good as yours and neither is going to be proven fact or fiction any time soon.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (2) Aug 24, 2010
gunslingor, that's patently wrong. The EPA, NOAA, and FDA all say that the fish is as safe as it's ever been. Only one sample out of 1007 had any trace of dispersant or oil, and the source of that isn't the BP rig for sure.
Give it a few months and watch the levels rise dramatically.

The oil doesn't saturate the fish that survive, otherwise they wouldn't have survived. It does saturate the organisms that the fish eat, and just like mercury, makes its way up the food chain. In a few years all the horizon deepwater oil will be out of the sea, and in your grocer's freezer.
gunslingor1
5 / 5 (1) Aug 24, 2010
Skeptic is right, contaminents compound up the food chain.. especially contaminents that cannot be secreted by organisms, such as mercury.

Like I've said previously, EPA standards have been changed in recent years because NO fish anywhere in the world would be safe to eat using the old numbers. If you eat fish every day for your entire life, your life expectancy drops by 30 years. Think of what suttle effects could occur if you eat fish once a week.. perhaps the onset of altimerze earlier than usual... it's a game of statistics. Fish used to be the healthiest animal to eat, now it is low grade poison.

Also, 1 out of 1000 is pretty freaking high man! That means 1/1000 people are going to be eating contaminated food, and this is just by the deflated standards.. and this is just OIL! what about unregultated contaminents.. very little is regultated, very little is measured.

My god, you think USA today is liberal leaning? What would that make FOX, the right wing of the galaxy? lol.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (1) Aug 24, 2010
Also, 1 out of 1000 is pretty freaking high man! That means 1/1000 people are going to be eating contaminated food, and this is just by the deflated standards.. and this is just OIL! what about unregultated contaminents.. very little is regultated, very little is measured.

Just for reference, against the US populace, 1/1000 would be 307,000 people assuming a sample was the same as a serving size, which it isn't. That's a lot of people that you effectively don't care about gswift.

Anyway. You guys have your opinion and I have mine. Mine is as good as yours and neither is going to be proven fact or fiction any time soon.
You're wrong, the facts, as they sit today, are soundly against you.
gunslingor1
5 / 5 (3) Aug 24, 2010
I agree Skeptic, there is simply no way a reasonable person can look at this disaster and say "its perfectly acceptable".
Caliban
5 / 5 (1) Aug 24, 2010
I agree Skeptic, there is simply no way a reasonable person can look at this disaster and say "its perfectly acceptable".


In this case, "reasonable' might be asking a bit much...
gunslingor1
5 / 5 (2) Aug 24, 2010
Some people are trying to say this disaster is the work of god... I say, god put the freaking oil offshore,1 mile below water, then 2 miles below the dirt.... WHAT THE HELL ELSE DO YOU EXPECT HIM TO DO!
gunslingor1
5 / 5 (1) Aug 24, 2010
AAAAAAAAND ANOTHER!

http://www.physor...764.html
GSwift7
1 / 5 (3) Sep 01, 2010
Oh man, I don't even know where to start. You're worried about oil getting into fish and claiming that it will be a big deal? Do you realize how silly that is? That's beyond stupid. Do you realize how much petroleum you come in contact with every day? Do you realize how much your food is exposed to petroleum every day? You know it's used in just about everything, right? The amount that COULD possibly end up in fish would be a nearly undetectable amount, equal to about the same thing as accidentally spraying some WD-40 in your mouth because you had the can turned the wrong way, if you ate contaminated fish every day for a year, and that's a MAYBE. You're being unjustifiably melodramatic and you're scaring the children for no good reason.
Skeptic_Heretic
3 / 5 (2) Sep 01, 2010
Then you eat it.
GSwift7
1 / 5 (2) Sep 01, 2010
In regard to the supposed health problems suffered by cleanup workers of the Prestige accident site. This is from ABC news, another liberal media outlet:

"The researchers acknowledged, however, that the clinical significance of their findings was unclear and that the associations were not necessarily causal."

But of course physorg doesn't run any stories that aren't alarmist and crazy left wing propaganda. Come on, if ABC is willing to downplay the story, then Physorg can too. I can't believe Physorg is even more leftist than ABC. That's incredible.

As a matter of fact, I'm headed out for seafood tonight. I'll enjoy every bite Heretic. Oh, and are 10 years old or something. That was a really poor comment.
gunslingor1
5 / 5 (3) Sep 01, 2010
Okay, ABC and USA today are both left leaning now? Really? How is concern for peoples health left leaning? If ABC and USA today are left leaning, what does that make FOX news? Who is your outlet of choice?

"Do you realize how much petroleum you come in contact with every day? Do you realize how much your food is exposed to petroleum every day? You know it's used in just about everything, right?"
-your somewhat correct, but uninformed. Petroleum based products are in most products (plastics for example), that does not mean patroleum is in all products. Review your chemistry, http://en.wikiped...troleum. There is a huge difference.

Second, you are right, we are all exposed to petroleum combusted products daily from car and plant pollution. Because of this, cancer rates have risen from 25% to 38%, up from 35% just 5 years ago. i.e., if you have 3 children, one of them will get cancer statistically.

And you think worrying about this is silly? And your justified?

Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (1) Sep 01, 2010
As a matter of fact, I'm headed out for seafood tonight. I'll enjoy every bite Heretic. Oh, and are 10 years old or something. That was a really poor comment.
I'm not the one suggesting that we sit down to a big ole plate of industrial fertilizer or shredded plastic for dinner.
gunslingor1
5 / 5 (2) Sep 02, 2010
http://www.salon....xplosion

Enjoying your oil yet? Ready for some tasty crawfish? This one is right in the bay.

Enjoy your efforts Gswift, I do directly blame people like you, we should have switched our fuel source 40 years ago... Thanks man, I'm sure at this point people with your attitude will be the death of this planet unless people like me change your mind or simply stop you from doing any more damage.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (1) Sep 02, 2010
Enjoy your efforts Gswift, I do directly blame people like you, we should have switched our fuel source 40 years ago... Thanks man, I'm sure at this point people with your attitude will be the death of this planet unless people like me change your mind or simply stop you from doing any more damage.
I hope they can be convinced. It is far easier to come to a solution as a group rather thasn while withstanding the assaults of neo-conservatives.
gunslingor1
5 / 5 (2) Sep 02, 2010
http://www.chron....653.html

Satisfied now Gswift?

Enjoy your tap water, it comes from the same aquiferes we drill pass to get the oil on land... And no, water utilitis don't test for it... They only account for biological not chemical contaminents, angain, only caring about acute effects and not long term or cumulative effects.

Are you getting the sense of danger, the sense of urgency, yet?
gunslingor1
5 / 5 (2) Sep 02, 2010
http://www.bbc.co...11172543

How about now?

You do realize that, other than the few spills you can actually find in the news, there are actually about 5,000 oil spills a year across the globe.

Really dude, the atmosphere was once 70% CO2.. Looks like the air will be again, and our land and water fowled with oil directly... then impacted further from air bourn particulates.

Open your eyes.
gunslingor1
5 / 5 (2) Sep 15, 2010
And the proof starts to surface:

"To find oil in the Gulf of Mexico, either in the sediments or in the water column, is not an unusual thing," said Samuel Walker, technical data manger with the agency. "There's spillage from other vessels, there's leakage from pipelines... there are a lot of natural seeps."

But Joye said explanations like natural seepage are unlikely, given that just a few months earlier, in the same area, her team found almost no evidence of oily sediment.

"It wasn't here in May, right after the spill started," she said. "This layer has developed over the past four months."

http://www.cnn.co...ogle_cnn

Anyone up for fish!?