Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico may have damaged Gulf Coral. Thankfully only one area has been affected, so far.
|Macondo well oil from the Deepwater Horizon blowout has been found on deep-water corals that are 1370 feet down and 11km away. The sensitivity of these mucus-
secreting animals means that water currents passing through the community can be assessed with hindsight. Often, no deposits of certain hydrocarbons were left, but these ancient sessile corals preserve their history from a thousand years ago.
The corals in this particular area looked unhealthy and skeletons were free of encrustation, meaning they died recently. The premise that recent waterborne pollution had impacted the community was made, although a coincidence is possible. No other such corals have been impacted. Biomarkers (hopanes in particular) in the floc from the affected organisms also could have originated only the Deepwater Horizon spill.
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