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Publications

The U.S. Geological Survey Publications Warehouse is a citation clearinghouse that provides access to over 160,000 publications written by USGS scientists over the century-plus history of the bureau. Below is a list of select scientific publications and information products from the Gulf of Mexico region. 

Filter Total Items: 145

The fellow speaks: Sometimes you get only one chance

I am grateful to AGU for selecting me as one of the five recipient of the 2014 Ambassador Award, which also includes election as a Union Fellow. I thank my colleague Steve Ingebritsen for nominating me. As Steve’s citation mentions my work on the Deepwater Horizon oil spill response, I would like to reflect on this experience. The Deepwater Horizon oil spill is well documented in the report of the

Oil source-fingerprinting in support of polarimetric radar mapping of Macondo-252 oil in Gulf Coast marshes

Polarimetric synthetic aperture radar (PolSAR) data exhibited dramatic, spatially extensive changes from June 2009 to June 2010 in Barataria Bay, Louisiana. To determine whether these changes were associated with the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill, twenty-nine sediment samples were collected in 2011 from shoreline and nearshore–interior coastal marsh locations where oil was not observed visuall

Comprehensive framework for ecological assessment of the Migratory Bird Habitat Initiative following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill

Following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in April 2010, the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) established and funded the Migratory Bird Habitat Initiative (MBHI), with the goal of improving and increasing wetland habitats on private lands to benefit wintering and migrating waterbirds displaced from oil-impacted coastal wetlands. The NRCS and conservation par

Lessons from the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill: A biological perspective

On March 24, 1989, the tanker vessel Exxon Valdez altered its course to avoid floating ice, and ran aground on Bligh Reef in northeastern Prince William Sound (PWS), Alaska (Figure 1). The tanker was carrying about 53 million gallons of Prudhoe Bay crude, a heavy oil, and an estimated 11 million gallons spilled (264,000 barrels or about 42 million liters) in what was, prior to the Deepwater Horizo

Coral communities as indicators of ecosystem-level impacts of the <i>Deepwater Horizon</i> spill

The Macondo oil spill released massive quantities of oil and gas from a depth of 1500 meters. Although a buoyant plume carried released hydrocarbons to the sea surface, as much as half stayed in the water column and much of that in the deep sea. After the hydrocarbons reached the surface, weathering processes, burning, and the use of a dispersant caused hydrocarbon-rich marine snow to sink into th

Sediment data collected in 2012 from the northern Chandeleur Islands, Louisiana

As part of the Barrier Island Evolution Research project, scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center collected sediment samples from the northern Chandeleur Islands in March and September 2012. The overall objective of this project, which integrates geophysical (bathymetric, seismic, and topographic) and sedimentologic data, is to better understand

Migration, foraging, and residency patterns for Northern Gulf loggerheads: implications of local threats and international movements

Northern Gulf of Mexico (NGoM) loggerheads (Caretta caretta) make up one of the smallest subpopulations of this threatened species and have declining nest numbers. We used satellite telemetry and a switching state-space model to identify distinct foraging areas used by 59 NGoM loggerheads tagged during 2010–2013. We tagged turtles after nesting at three sites, 1 in Alabama (Gulf Shores; n = 37) an

Asphaltene content and composition as a measure of <i>Deepwater Horizon</i> oil spill losses within the first 80 days

The composition and content of asphaltenes in spilled and original wellhead oils from the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) incident provide information on the amount of original oil lost and the processes most responsible for the losses within the first 80 days of the active spill. Spilled oils were collected from open waters, coastal waters and coastal sediments during the incident. Asphaltenes are the mo

Assessment of bird response to the Migratory Bird Habitat Initiative using weather-surveillance radar

In response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in spring 2010, the Natural Resources Conservation Service implemented the Migratory Bird Habitat Initiative (MBHI) to provide temporary wetland habitat for migrating and wintering waterfowl, shorebirds, and other birds along the northern Gulf of Mexico via managed flooding of agricultural lands. We used weather-surveillance radar to conduct broad reg

Change in the length of the southern section of the Chandeleur Islands oil berm, January 13, 2011, through September 3, 2012

On April 20, 2010, an explosion on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig drilling at the Macondo Prospect site in the Gulf of Mexico resulted in a marine oil spill that continued to flow through July 15, 2010. One of the affected areas was the Breton National Wildlife Refuge, which consists of a chain of low-lying islands, including Breton Island and the Chandeleur Islands, and their surrounding waters. T

Assessing mobility and redistribution patterns of sand and oil agglomerates in the surf zone

Heavier-than-water sand and oil agglomerates that formed in the surf zone following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill continued to cause beach re-oiling 3 years after initial stranding. To understand this phenomena and inform operational response now and for future spills, a numerical method to assess the mobility and alongshore movement of these “surface residual balls” (SRBs) was developed and app

Presence of the Corexit component dioctyl sodium sulfosuccinate in Gulf of Mexico waters after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill

Between April 22 and July 15, 2010, approximately 4.9 million barrels of oil were released into the Gulf of Mexico from the Deepwater Horizon oil well. Approximately 16% of the oil was chemically dispersed, at the surface and at 1500 m depth, using Corexit 9527 and Corexit 9500, which contain dioctyl sodium sulfosuccinate (DOSS) as a major surfactant component. This was the largest documented rele