Got Microbes? A Multidisciplinary Analysis of Microbial Response to the Deepwater Horizon Spill and Its Impact on Gulf of Mexico Shipwrecks
As technological advances and marine archaeological research move to deeper waters, new questions concerning site formation processes and anthropogenic impacts to shipwrecks are arising. In 2013, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, along with other Federal and academic partners, initiated a study to examine the impacts of oil and dispersant exposure on shipwrecks in the Gulf of Mexico. This multidisciplinary study is examining microbial biodiversity and corrosion processes at wooden and iron/steel-hulled shipwrecks in the vicinity of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill and at control sites not exposed to the spill for comparison. Using ROVs, scientists are collecting wood, metal, sediment, and biological samples for analysis, along with video surveys and 3D optical scans to monitor changes in resident biota and archaeological site formation over time. By analyzing marine microorganism response to hydrocarbon exposure, we can begin to understand what role these microbial communities play in site formation processes.
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Got Microbes? A Multidisciplinary Analysis of Microbial Response to the Deepwater Horizon Spill and Its Impact on Gulf of Mexico Shipwrecks. Melanie Damour, James Moore, Brian Jordan. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. 2014 ( tDAR id: 437242)
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