A NOAA study released today confirms previous reports that oil was spreading below the surface. The heavy liquid is not floating up to the surface as one might expect. This 3D map shows detected levels of oil, along with unrelated seepage from the ocean floor.
Although underwater oil plumes could cause lethal oxygen depletion — as Matthew Simmons warns — these levels are NOT severe enough to kill aquatic life:
Dissolved oxygen measurements sometimes show a drop in dissolved oxygen at or below a depth of 1,000 meters, although these drops were not severe enough to indicate impending hypoxic conditions.
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