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CCPO Seminar Will Look at BP Gulf Spill; Was it the Disaster that Was Feared?

Did the spill from the BP Macondo rig in the Gulf of Mexico earlier this year cause the disaster that many people feared? That's the question that will be address by a visiting oceanographer from Texas at a seminar of the Old Dominion University Center for Coastal Physical Oceanography (CCPO) on Monday, Oct. 25.

Piers Chapman, head of the Department of Oceanography at Texas A&M University, will present his program beginning at 3:30 in Room 3200 of Innovation Research Park Building 1 in University Village. The seminar and a reception with refreshments beginning at 3 p.m. are free and open to the public.

There are still arguments about how much of the 700,000 tons of oil that gushed from the blowout remains in the environment, according to Chapman. But he will explain how good fortune, such as the lack of hurricanes in the gulf during the cleanup, and other factors seem to have resulted in less damage to life and property than expected. The large drawdown of dissolved oxygen concentrations that were predicted has not been found, and the amount of oil contamination of shorelines is relatively less than expected.

Still, Chapman believes the effects of the spill on fisheries will not be known for several years.

The speaker worked in the United Kingdom and South Africa prior to coming to the United States. Before taking his current position with Texas A&M, he worked at Louisiana State University on a NOAA-sponsored coastal restoration science project. His current research focus is the oxygen deficiency problem in the Gulf of Mexico.

This article was posted on: October 22, 2010

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