Science in support of the Deepwater Horizon response

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
By: , and 

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Abstract

This introduction to the Special Feature presents the context for science during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill response, summarizes how scientific knowledge was integrated across disciplines and statutory responsibilities, identifies areas where scientific information was accurate and where it was not, and considers lessons learned and recommendations for future research and response. Scientific information was integrated within and across federal and state agencies, with input from nongovernmental scientists, across a diverse portfolio of needs—stopping the flow of oil, estimating the amount of oil, capturing and recovering the oil, tracking and forecasting surface oil, protecting coastal and oceanic wildlife and habitat, managing fisheries, and protecting the safety of seafood. Disciplines involved included atmospheric, oceanographic, biogeochemical, ecological, health, biological, and chemical sciences, physics, geology, and mechanical and chemical engineering. Platforms ranged from satellites and planes to ships, buoys, gliders, and remotely operated vehicles to laboratories and computer simulations. The unprecedented response effort depended directly on intense and extensive scientific and engineering data, information, and advice. Many valuable lessons were learned that should be applied to future events.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Science in support of the Deepwater Horizon response
Series title Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
DOI 10.1073/pnas.1204729109
Volume 109
Issue 50
Year Published 2012
Language English
Publisher National Academy of Science
Contributing office(s) Office of the Director USGS
Description 10 p.
First page 20212
Last page 20221
Country United States