Blogging Scientists Tracking 'Second Plume' in Gulf

Samantha Joye of the University of Georgia is on a 2-week research cruise to study the deepwater plumes from the Deepwater Horizon oil leak. The research vessel Walton Smith left port on Wednesday. From its great blog:

Around 16:00, we spotted the top of the plume at about 800m water depth. Everyone got pretty excited. But, little did we know that we'd soon be even more excited! The plume had not only moved North but it was somewhat different than it was two weeks ago during the Pelican cruise.

The plume was located between 800m and 1300m in the water column and there appeared to be three distinct layers.

The sensor signal for colored dissolved organic showed a robust increase in signal between 800 and 900m; then increased by about five times between 1000 and 1200m; and, between 1200 and 1300m, the signal doubled again. In these same depth ranges, the signal from the transmissometer also increased, suggesting a different suite of particles in the water between these different depths.

A major research meeting will be at Louisiana State University next thursday, with sessions on everything from mapping the spill to analyzing its ecological effects.