Estimating the Magnitude of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Leak

January 21, 2011
Earth Science Colloquium


Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
Lamont Associate Research Professor

Last year's Deepwater Horizon blowout and subsequent oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico initiated a tragic and unprecedented oceanographic "experiment". In order to place this disaster into proper context and begin understanding the environmental and ecological impacts of the oil, it was essential to accurately estimate the total oil released. In this talk I will discuss my investigation into the flow rates of the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil leak and my research on seafloor hydrothermal systems that underpinned those efforts. I will touch on some of the issues that go along with doing real-time science on a high-profile problem with intense media attention, and I will highlight some of the research that other Lamont scientists conducted and continue to conduct on this subject.