This album highlights our dive on June 25. 2013 in the Gulf of Mexico. Hercules and Argus collected bubbles from a natural seep, did imaging of corals with the Beast camera, did sediment core samples, and did some collection of corals and sponge. The primary focus of this dive was to collect data to help the scientists understand how organisms change in their environments, especially with natural and man-caused exposure to oils and gas. Sponges, corals, and sediment organisms are the focus organisms of this dive. Along the way, we saw other interesting organisms and geology, as well.
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.