Wednesday, August 18, 2010
This report from Sea Grant Georgia, finds that there have been no oceanographic surveys measuring the entire breadth of the subsurface oil plume, only cruises targeting specific regions of interest to the scientific community. Thus, we can only estimated how much remains below the surface. However, after accounting for oil that has been skimmed and burned (10% collectively), evaporated (8-12%) and degraded (4-8%), we estimate that the oil remaining at or below the surface is between 70 and 79% or between 2.9 and 3.2 million barrels. We note that this does not account for oil that we know has washed into coastal wetlands. This is a particularly difficult form to quantify, since much of it has settled in tidal creek and bay bottoms or has been buried in salt marsh and creek bottom sediments.