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USGS Coastal and Marine Geology Program

Recent News

Recent News - stories from the last 14 days.

For information about a story, contact Ann Tihansky (202) 208-3342.

Photograph by S. Ross, of the deep sea lander equipped with rotating sediment trap that was deployed in the north central Gulf after the DWH oil spillImpact of 2010 Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill on Food Supply to Deep-Sea Communities

A USGS-led study found a reduction in carbon export to the deep sea up to 18 months after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, potentially related to a decrease in surface-ocean primary productivity. Delivery of organic matter from surface waters is crucial to sustaining many ecosystems too deep for sunlight to reach. Most deep-sea corals, for example, feed primarily on surface-derived organic carbon. Nancy Prouty, Pamela Campbell, Amanda Demopoulos, and colleagues measured geochemical tracers from monthly sediment-trap samples collected before (Oct-08 to Sept-09) and after the spill (Oct-10 to Sept-11). In addition to evidence for reduced primary production, the samples contained low-14C carbon, some of which might have come from the spill. The results were released 17 November 2015 in Elsevier's Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science. For more information, contact Nancy Prouty,, 831-460-7526.

posted: 2015-11-25

Researchers deploy a sediment trapUSGS Scientists deploy sediment trap in Northern Gulf of Mexico

On November 18–20, 2015, scientists from St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center (SPCMSC) Caitlin Reynolds (Geologist) and Julie Richey (Research Geologist) are deploying a new sediment trap in the northern Gulf of Mexico for an ongoing paleoclimate proxy calibration study. The trap has been collecting samples and data since January 2008 and this will be the 17th deployment. In addition to deploying the sediment trap and collecting water samples, the group will be participating in an outreach activity with a Florida and South Carolina elementary school class. Collaborators from University of Texas at Austin and University of South Carolina will be on board the R/V Point Sur with USGS scientists. Project highlights and past publications can be found at

posted: 2015-11-18

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