Oceanography The Official Magazine of
The Oceanography Society
Volume 29 Issue 03

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Volume 29, No. 3
Pages 118 - 125


Marine Snow Sedimented Oil Released During the Deepwater Horizon Spill

By Uta Passow  and Kai Ziervogel 
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Article Abstract

During and after the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) spill in the northern Gulf of Mexico, a massive amount of oil compounds and marine particles, termed floc, accumulated on the seafloor. It is now well established that sedimentation of oil following the DWH spill occurred largely in association with marine oil snow (MOS), a term that became accepted as describing marine snow that incorporates oil. A significant amount of the spilled oil made its way to the seafloor as MOS, appreciably affecting the distribution of oil within the ocean. This article summarizes current knowledge of the different types of MOS that sank, and the underlying processes that led to MOS formation as well as to the sedimentation and deposition of oil on the seafloor during and after the DWH spill. 


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