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View Diary: Oil offshore Texas & on Florida Shelf - EPA's Big Error (242 comments)

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  •  Oil not in the De Soto Canyon (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    citizen k, dbradhud

    To further correct your grossly misleading diary, Oil is not in the De Soto Canyon.  It is heading in that direction, but it is not there.

    To paraphrase the old "Reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated" saying:

    "The reports of the entire Gulf of Mexico being covered with oil are greatly exaggerated."

    Remember: this is a disaster in slow motion.  These are tremendous distances and slow speeds of motion.  Look at how long it took for real oil to get into the Bird's Foot Delta marshes -- and that's right by the spill site.

    •  To further clarify the difference between (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lightfoot, dbradhud

      being in the canyon and approaching the canyon:

      Link.

      The De Soto Canyon is that little squiggly that approaches the shore.  The leaking Maconda well is in that cluster of seamounds, right here.  So for it to be approaching the canyon, but not in the canyon, it can't be that far from the leak, and it can't be close to shore.

      It's a bad thing for the longer term.  A very bad thing.  But it's not close to shore right now.

      •  What is worse is that the vast majority (7+ / 0-)

        of oil is trapped beneath the surface, in tiny droplets due to the use of dispersant. If you have read the scientific literature on this topic, you will find that there is experimental data as well as models that show most of a deep oil gusher will get trapped beneath thermocline boundaries even without the use of dispersants, since the methane will both form hydrate and also more quickly dissolve in the cold deep water, with the effect of greatly reducing the plume buoyancy. The use of dispersant further decreases the buoyancy of the oil droplets, only making the situation worse, even ignoring the toxicity issue.

        This oil will not "weather" in the cold deep waters, nor will bacteria "gobble it all up" as some people claim, as the hydrocarbon-based food chains are specialized isolated environmental niches that exist only near oil seeps.

        So it is a near certainty that vast plumes of oil droplets are spreading out, likely at different depths and different directions depending on the currents, killing every form of life not adapted to the new "hydrocarbon-enriched" environment.

        •  Indeed. This is talking about an underwater plume (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Mogolori, lightfoot

          Who knows what the long-term effect will be.  While deep-sea seeps are natural, and there are natural methods to get rid of the oil, dispersed deep-sea oil is not natural.  We have no natural models to look at.   there might be a ready decomposition process to inert elements (namely, H2O, CO2, asphalt, and pure hydrates)... then again, there might not be.  And if not... it could be around for a long, long time.

          I don't deign to know which case will be the answer because... well, honestly, nobody knows.

        •  plume off of Alabama (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          lightfoot

          http://www.chron.com/...

          Marine scientists have discovered a massive new plume of what they believe to be oil deep beneath the Gulf of Mexico, stretching 22 miles (35 kilometers) from the leaking wellhead northeast toward Mobile Bay, Alabama.

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