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Scientist Who Helped Measure Size of BP Spill Will Lead OEAS Seminar

Timothy Crone, the young Columbia University scientist who helped to establish the magnitude of the oil spill from BP's disabled well in the Gulf of Mexico, will deliver a free seminar on the campus of Old Dominion University at 3 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 11.

Crone's talk is sponsored by ODU's Department of Ocean, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, and will be in Room 200 of the Oceanography and Physics Building.

A marine geophysicist at Columbia's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Clone has pioneered ways to study the flow of natural vents that spew hot jets of mineral-laden water from the ocean floor. He was able to adapt this research using underwater cameras to measure the flow of oil from the BP well. This work has been recognized in the scientific and popular media for its contributions to our understanding of the Gulf spill.

The title of Crone's talk, "Measuring the Magnitude of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Leak: Science in the Media Spotlight," also notes his plan to discuss the role played by media in shaping the BP spill story and the science surrounding the incident.

Crone's study reported in the on-line edition of the journal Science in September was the first independent measure of how big the spill was. Official estimates ranged up to 19,000 barrels a day, and finally went higher. Based on several high-resolution video clips he obtained, Crone estimated that 56,000 to 68,000 barrels escaped per day, adding up to a total loss of 4.4 million barrels before the well was capped in late September. That number was close to the final consensus of government advisors.

This article was posted on: November 8, 2010

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