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Scientists have found a 10 million gallon 'bath mat' of oil on the floor of the Gulf of Mexico
Scientists have found a 10 million gallon 'bath mat' of oil on the floor of the Gulf of Mexico

Scientists have found a 10 million gallon 'bath mat' of oil on the floor of the Gulf of Mexico

Business Insider
February 4, 2015


Scientists have already reported finding what they called a 1,235-square-mile "bathtub ring" of oil on the floor of the Gulf of Mexico left over from the huge 2010 BP oil spill.

Now it appears this ring is part of a washroom set: A different team of scientists has found that up 10 million gallons of oil have created what can be called only a "bath mat" beneath the sediment of the gulf's floor.

First the ring. David Valentine and colleagues from the University of California at Santa Barbara wrote in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in October that about 10 million gallons of the spilled oil settled on the gulf's floor. Its size: about the size of the state of Rhode Island.

But what about the rest? As much as 200 million gallons of oil were spilled after the Deepwater Horizon oil rig, owned by BP and Anadarko Petroleum Corp., exploded off the coast of New Orleans, killing 11 workers on the rig, injuring 17 more, and allowing oil to gush into the gulf for nearly three months.

All that oil has been hard to find. But a team of scientists led by Jeff Chanton found between 6 million and 10 million gallons buried in the sediment at the bottom of the gulf about 60 miles southeast of the Mississippi Delta. Chanton is a professor of oceanography at Florida State University.


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