Deepwater Shipwrecks and Oil Spill Impacts: An Innovative Multiscalar Approach from Microbial Ecology to 3D Scanning Systems
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management and partners implemented a multidisciplinary study in 2013 to examine impacts from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill on deepwater shipwrecks in the Gulf of Mexico. The Gulf of Mexico Shipwreck Corrosion, Hydrocarbon Exposure, Microbiology, and Archaeology Project, or GOM-SCHEMA, conducted a comparative analysis to assess micro- to macroscale impacts from the spill by examining microbial community biodiversity, their role in artificial reef formation, and the effects of their response on shipwreck preservation. The study collected microbiological, geochemical, and archaeological data at wooden- and metal-hulled shipwrecks within and outside of the spill-impacted area. Results of the study have identified multiple lines of evidence that shipwrecks were impacted by exposure to spill-related contaminants. In addition, laboratory experiments simulating spill exposure to metal hull materials yielded results that have implications for long-term monitoring efforts, submerged cultural resource management, and future spill mitigation approaches.
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Deepwater Shipwrecks and Oil Spill Impacts: An Innovative Multiscalar Approach from Microbial Ecology to 3D Scanning Systems. Melanie Damour, Leila Hamdan, Jennifer Salerno, Robert Church, Daniel Warren, Christopher Horrell. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Fort Worth, TX. 2017 ( tDAR id: 435463)
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