One of the interesting things we learned in the fluids lab at UNC was that the oil coming out of the BP Macando well was probably coming out at between 100 and 300 degrees F meeting water that was just above freezing. that alone combined with its great velocity would be enough to cause it to entrain sea water and become neutrally or negatively buoyant and form cloud layers. The professors told us that the smaller the droplets of oil the longer they will persist in the ocean in stratified layers. BTW -- The oil was hot because it was coming from so far deep in the earth. Great thanks to UNC Chapel Hill and Professor Roberto Camassa and Professor Rich McLaughlin.
Baldwin County, AL -- The beaches were open in Alabama’s Gulf Shores. they looked clean but the locals avoided the water. The beaches were not as crowded as they normally would be that time of year and this gentleman who had worked as a manager in the oil industry gave some insight into the local take on the safety of the water on that day, and the job done by the national television press in their coverage.
LAFAYETTE, LA - As you may already know some of the news you see on television is actually produced by the companies that are part of the news story. All the major news networks CNN, MSNBC, and FOX were sponsored by BP during their coverage of the contamination of the Gulf. BP is of course a large company but smaller companies often cooperate by forming an association to promote their causes and handle public relations. One of those associations is the Louisiana Oil and Gas Association or LOGA. LOGA produces it’s own news and that news finds it’s way onto the major networks. In that way, LOGA is able to promote their industry and point of view.
Is the seafood safe to eat after the biggest oil contamination in US history has been mixed into the Gulf of Mexico and is now invisible to the naked eye. Would you serve it to your children? What about at a rally against the temporary ban on new Deepwater Drilling at the Cajundome in the heart of Cajun Lafayette Louisiana where traditional Cajun cuisine usually is pungent with the flavor of seafood and fishing is part of the state motto.
HOUMA, LA -- Houma is home to the airport that BP uses for sending out aircraft that spray dispersants on top of the water. After the gusher in the Gulf BP used dispersant at the well-head down near the sea floor in a place they named the Macondo Prospect. You might think spraying dispersants that are toxic chemicals would be something not done before the deepwater disaster. In fact “spilling oil” is a very common thing here in Louisiana and dispersants are used frequently to mix the oil into the Gulf of Mexico. Mixing crude oil into the seawater has the effect of making it pretty much invisible. Here in Houma the airport has a contractor who has three aircraft that are used regularly to spray dispersants into the Gulf. Two of the dispersants widely reported to be used are called COREXIT 9500 and COREXIT 9527. After some prodding the formulae for COREXIT was made public and is now on the EPA web site. But all the ingredients are not listed. Some of the most important ingredients from a health standpoint are just listed generically, like secret herbs and spices. And they kind of are since they are sprayed on seafood all the tim