Underwater vehicles used to study oil spills, the Sea Grant oil spill science outreach team’s latest publication, shines a light on the technology scientists use to track and quantify oil in the marine ecosystem, specifically manned and unmanned underwater vehicles that gather data researchers need. From ROVs to AUVs to HOVs, this work details how they operate and what they are typically used for. With operational prices ranging from $500 to $45,000 per day, scientists must make the best use of this equipment while they have access to it. Finally, the piece discusses some of the important discoveries scientists made after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill using this technology, including the presence of the underwater oil plume and damage to deep-sea coral beds.
To read and download this or any of the Sea Grant oil spill science outreach team’s publications, click here.
Featured image: The ROV Hercules collects a glass sponge from a coral colony in the northern Gulf of Mexico. (ECOGIG)