"Some of our greatest concerns" says Fed-friendly scientist
Critical Ocean Life Threatened by Oil on Gulf Floor, CNN, August 17, 2010:
LARRY MCKINNEY, HARTE RESEARCH INST. FOR GULF OF MEXICO STUDIES: ... [T]hey do tend to support some of our greatest concerns about the fate of these underwater plumes that were discovered back in June, and that is that they could be picked up and this conveyor belt that is upwelling in Desoto Canyon and bringing this oil from the deep waters up to the shallow, and that seems to be what the Florida State folks are saying. ...
JOHN ROBERTS, CNN ANCHOR:... [T]he USF study said, quote, "These findings, although preliminary, suggest that subsurface oil may be emerging on to the west Florida shelf through the Desoto Canyon." So this is not just restricted to the extremely deep water. There's enough welling as you mentioned before. How widespread could this become?
MCKINNEY: Well, it depends on how big those plumes are and how long they persist, but that conveyer belt moves water rather quickly. And so the fact that the Florida state folks are finding oil up on that shelf at the distance that they're finding it is disturbing from that regard. That means that that oil plume could be moving up on the shelf and that's sort of a worst case scenario. We would not like to see that at all.
McKinney's dire language should not be ignored. He has worked with federal agencies for decades and may do so still judging by his recent statements, "Larry McKinney, director of a Gulf of Mexico research center at Texas A&M University in Corpus Christi, said the new federal data showed that it was a 'nearly perfect' outcome. 'They hit it on the head.'"
Fortunately, USF researchers left just this past weekend on another reasearch mission to Desoto Canyon, reported the Tampa Tribune.