[Coral-List] New Type of Subsurface Oil

Steve Kolian stevekolian at hotmail.com
Tue Jul 20 00:46:50 EDT 2010

To view latest findings on subsurface oil and dispersants in the Gulf of Mexico, please go to:
On July 15th 2010, Scott Porter, a member of EcoRigs, observed a new type of subsurface oil and dispersant signature. It consisted of a large plume of white stringy mucus like materials. It was observed at two locations (Grand Isle (GI) 93  & GI 90) approximately occupying the area between 40 ft and 120 ft below the surface (maybe deeper). The substance varied in size from small flakes to long strings that extended up to 6 feet. (See video July 15, 2010)
There were two distinct plumes of oil and dispersants on July 15th at GI 93 and 90, there was the more common subsurface plume, the brown cloudy plume consisting of fine particulate matter located in the upper 30 ft of the water column. The last time we visited GI 93, on June 16th, we saw the same brown particulate signature except that it was confined to the upper 20 feet of the water column. The white mucus-like plume was not present during the June 16 dive and the depth of the more common brown plume did not appear to be as large. There was no surface oil or sheen on either day.  
There was a third plume observed on the bottom We could not verify the depth of the plume or whether the plume on the ocean floor consisted of oil and dispersants. The soils in the area are often composed of silts deposited there by the Mississippi River or other tributaries.  Sediment could have been re-suspended by active currents; the structure was near the Mississippi Canyon area.  Also, the area experiences hypoxic areas during the summer months, and the plume above the seafloor could be a part of the nephloid layer that appears every year. 
EcoRigs has observed similar mucus-like material in the water before; however, it was brown and different in shape and was not as persistent.  At Main Pass (MP) 311, on June 6th, large globs of semi-translucent mucus like materials were present below the brown particulate type of plume (See June 6th 2010 video). On this day, the common brown oil and dispersant plume consisting of fine particulates, occupied the upper 20 feet of the water column.  (See video June 6th 2010)
Finally, EcoRigs is presenting base line data of water conditions found at GI 93. Please view video captured in July 2009 and October 2008 at GI 93.   The fish population observed during pre-spill visits appeared different from the current population. There was and still remains a large population of fish at GI 93 and 90 although the species composition has appears to have changed. Large populations of red snapper and amberjack were present on July 15th far more than we have seen there in the past. Video and analysis of fish and invertebrate populations are forthcoming.

Best Regards, Steve Kolian 225-910-0304 cell

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