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From Blowout to Beach: Responses to the Deepwater Horizon Blowout

  • Room 112, O&M Buidling (map)


In April 2010, the BP-leased Deepwater Horizon drilling rig blew up in the Gulf of Mexico, killing 11 people and causing the largest oil spill in U.S. history. As part of a public relations effort, BP put $500M into oil spill research over a decade. A TAMU-led consortium, Gulf Integrated Spill Research (GISR), was one of the groups funded through this research program. Our aim was to put together a suite of models that can follow an oil drop or gas bubble from its release at the wellhead until it ends up on the beach or elsewhere. This has involved not only work on the models per se, but also basic research into the physics and chemistry of oil droplets and their motion in the ocean, as well as the processes that force advection and mixing in the Gulf of Mexico.