Navigation Links
LSU's WAVCIS director says oil remains below surface, will come ashore in pulses

BATON ROUGE Gregory Stone, director of LSU's WAVCIS Program and also of the Coastal Studies Institute in the university's School of the Coast & Environment, disagrees with published estimates that more than 75 percent of the oil from the Deepwater Horizon incident has disappeared.

Stone recently participated in a three-hour flyover of the affected area in the Gulf, where he said that subsurface oil was easily visible from overhead.

"It's most definitely there," said Stone. "It's just a matter of time before it makes itself known again."

Readings from WAVCIS indicate that the direction of the ocean currents near the middle and bottom of the water column are aimed offshore; in other words, this submerged oil will be pushed out to sea, where it will then rise higher into the water column and be washed onto land, particularly during storms.

"It is going to come on shore not consistently, but rather in pulses because it is beneath the surface," he said. "You may get one or two, maybe even five or 10 waves coming ashore with absolutely no oil but eventually, it's going to come ashore." He also cautions that whatever oil doesn't remain suspended in the water column may simply sit atop the seafloor, waiting to be mixed back into the currents.

"It will simply be stirred up during rough seas or changing currents and reintroduced into the water column," he explained.

Another timely concern is hurricane season since September is generally one of the most active months of the year. "Storm surge, when combined with storm waves from a hurricane, could stir up this submerged oil and bring it lots of it onshore and into the wetlands," Stone said. "Even a tropical storm could result in more oil on the shoreline. And that's a reality we need to consider and be prepared for."

Formally known as the Wave-Current-Surge Information System, WAVCIS is based off of a network of buoys, oil platforms sensors and ADCPs, or Acoustic Doppler Current Profilers, in the Gulf of Mexico. The ADCPs are exceptionally sensitive. Housed on the seafloor, they send acoustic signals up to the surface of the water, measuring the entire water column for everything from current direction to speed and temperature. It's also integrated with the National Data Buoy Center, or NDBC, system, providing researchers worldwide with a comprehensive look at the Gulf environment, which is an invaluable research tool during the inevitable hurricane season, and also during disasters such as the Deepwater Horizon tragedy.

"WAVCIS is among the most sensitive ocean observing systems in the entire nation," said Stone. "We measure a wide variety of physical parameters at the water surface, water column and on the sea bed. This information is extremely helpful in predicting or determining where the oil is and where it's going to go. Because our information is updated hourly and available to the public, our lab has played a primary role in providing facts about the situation surrounding the oil's movement and location."

Stone, whose experience with WAVCIS has spanned everything from natural to manmade disasters, knows that only time will tell the severity of the oil's impact.

"This is a long term problem. It's not simply going to go away. I was in Prince William Sound 10 years after the Exxon-Valdez event, and when I lifted up a rock, there was still residual oil beneath it," he said. "Thus, the residence time of oil in the coastal environment can be substantial, although ecosystem conditions along the northern Gulf are very different and will likely recover quicker than in Alaska. We here at WAVCIS can at least track Gulf conditions to monitor the situation as closely as possible."


Contact: Ashley Berthelot
Louisiana State University

Related biology news :

1. LSUSHC researchers find potential new target for hypertension treatment
2. UTHealth neuroscientist wins prominent NIH Directors Pioneer Award
3. Case Western Reserve geneticist receives prestigious NIH Directors Pioneer Award
4. AACR nomination of Harold E. Varmus, M.D., as director of the NCI
5. Spying on a cellular director in the cutting room
6. UAB bone center director wins distinguished service award from clinical pathology society
7. Dr. William Brody, President of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, Appointed to GenVaults Board of Directors
8. Duke biomedical scientists win 2 highly prized NIH Directors Awards
9. UC Santa Barbara and Burnham Institute for Medical Research announce director
10. Supply-Chain Council Announces New Board of Directors and Officers
11. AACR applauds nomination of Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., to be the new NIH director
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/10/2015)... About signature verification Signature ... identify and verify the identity of an individual ... secure and accurate method of authentication and is ... because each individual,s signature is highly unique. Signature ... signature of an individual is compared and matched ...
(Date:11/2/2015)...  SRI International has been awarded a contract of ... to the National Cancer Institute (NCI) PREVENT Cancer Program ... modern testing and support facilities, and analytical instrumentation to ... studies to evaluate potential cancer prevention drugs. ... Drug Development Program is an NCI-supported pipeline to bring ...
(Date:10/29/2015)... , Oct. 29, 2015  Rubicon Genomics, ... for U.S. distribution of its DNA library preparation ... and Rubicon,s new ThruPLEX Plasma-seq kit. ThruPLEX Plasma-seq ... the preparation of NGS libraries for liquid biopsies--the ... diagnostic and prognostic applications in cancer and other ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 24, 2015 , ... ... event of the year and one of the premier annual events for pharmaceutical ... ran from 8–11 November 2015, where ISPE hosted the largest number of attendees ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... ... The Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA), led by its Executive Council, has ... Prix, to represent the First–Person View (FPV) racing community. , FPV racing has exploded ... of racing and several new model aviation pilots have joined the community because of ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... 24, 2015  Twist Bioscience, a company focused ... Ph.D., Twist Bioscience chief executive officer, will present ... December 1, 2015 at 3:10 p.m. Eastern Time at The ... --> --> ... Bioscience is on Twitter. Sign up to follow ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... Nov. 24, 2015 Capricor Therapeutics, Inc. ... on the discovery, development and commercialization of first-in-class therapeutics, ... Executive Officer, is scheduled to present at the 2015 ... 10:50 a.m. EST, at The Lotte New York Palace ... . --> ...
Breaking Biology Technology: