This is a highlight album from our 2 dives on June 23, 2013. On our first dive site, we saw sharks at around 50 meters during our recovery of ROVs Argus and Hercules. During the second dive, we traveled to a site about 10 km from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The major focus of that dive is to take images of corals that have been studied since 2010. The scientists are returning every few months to take picture of the same corals and compare them over time in order to see how the corals change in different environmental conditions. We also so many other interesting biological and geological features.
The ECOGIG expedition is part of a larger research program focused on examining the ecosystem-level response to oil and gas in the Gulf of Mexico. This research group, the ECOGIG Consortium, is made up of scientists from a wide variety of disciplines studying current flow, ocean chemistry, microbial activity, deep-sea coral communities, and everything in between. The group is looking primarily at natural oil and gas seepage into the Gulf, but using these natural processes to learn more about what happened after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill of 2010.