Warning! Latest informati0n on the discovery of undersea plumes:
Excerpts from the Miami Herald:
Nick Shay, a physical oceanographer at the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science... is partnering with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration... pinpointed yet more plumes drifting from 160 to nearly 500 feet deep. ...
Scientists believe temperature and salinity gradients could be trapping the oil as well as other possible factors, including the deep sea application of chemical dispersants, which break the oil into clouds of tiny droplets so diffused they might rise very slowly or even remain trapped by layers of warmer, heavier water overhead.
Shay speculated that plumes might take months to surface... "It doesn't surprise me we haven't seen any of these blobs pop to the surface in the loop current,'' he said. ... Shay's readings came south of the spill site, raising concerns that unseen oil could still make its way toward the Florida coast.
The discovery in the depths of the Gulf of Mexico was so unsettling University of South Florida marine scientists ran two tests this week just to make sure. Data from an array of instruments was conclusive: a team on board the USF research vessel Weatherbird II had discovered a vast new plume of oil...
The blob, more than 6 miles wide, is stretching inland toward the shallower waters off Alabama, where many fish and other species reproduce, said David Hollander, associate professor of chemical oceanography at USF.