Toxic oil plumes as seen from underwater ... video

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Toxic oil plumes as seen from underwater ... video

On Good Morning America, correspondent Sam Champion and Philippe Cousteau Jr. explore the toxic plumes of dispersed oil floating beneath the waves in the Gulf of Mexico.

The main effect of a dispersant is the break-up the surface slick into small bits of oil-surfactant (micelles) that then enter the water column.

This increases the surface area of the oil by several orders of magnitude which greatly speeds bio-degradation of the oil through microbial action. If the dispersant contains a sorbitan-based chemical (Corexit 9500 does), the break-down is sped up even further, as sorbitan is a great, easily-digested food source for the petroleum-consuming microbes, causing an early population explosion.

That's the BP side of the story, however the divers found the oil to be so toxic it burned exposed flesh.

oil-column-sea.jpg - 12.68kb
By netchicken: posted on 28-5-2010

This article: 1430 views

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