Measuring the Size of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Leak: Science in the Media Spotlight
Tuesday October 5th
Room 417 Schermerhorn Hall
Summary: This year's Deepwater Horizon blowout and subsequent oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico initiated a tragic and unprecedented oceanographic "experiment". Scientists will likely study the effects of this disaster for years. In order to place this research into proper context and fully understand the environmental and ecological impacts of the oil, an accurate estimate of the total oil released will be required. In this talk I will discuss my research on seafloor hydrothermal systems and how this work allowed me to make estimates of the oil flow rates and the total volume released. I will detail my findings to date, and I will also discuss the role played by the media in shaping the story and science surrounding the incident.
Tim Crone is Lamont Assistant Research Professor in the division of Marine Geology and Geophysics at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. His research focus is the interplay between relatively large-scale geophysical processes and the microbial biosphere. In particular, Tim studies the tidal modulation of aqueous fluid flow within mid-ocean ridge hydrothermal systems, with the hope of understanding how such flow variations can affect subseafloor primary production.
In the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon blowout and oil leak, Tim and three colleagues contributed an Op-Ed piece to the New York Times advocating for timely and accurate monitoring and measuring of the leaking oil on the seafloor and in the water column. Tim later used his experience with aqueous fluid flow in seafloor hydrothermal systems to develop a method to measure oil flow rates from the leaking well based on optical image analysis methods.
Tim attended the University of Washington for all of his higher education, completing his Ph.D. in Oceanography in 2007.
Future talks are scheduled for Tuesdays from 12:15-1:00pm in Room 417 Schermerhorn Hall. Attendees are welcome to bring their lunch.
All are welcome to attend!