Credit: Fisher lab, Penn State UniversityA new discovery of two additional coral communities showing signs of damage from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill expands the impact footprint of the 2010 spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The discovery was made by a team led by Charles Fisher, professor of biology at Penn State University. A paper describing this work and additional impacts of human activity on corals in the Gulf of Mexico will be published during the last week of July 2014 in the online Early Edition of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
"The footprint of the impact of the spill on coral communities is both deeper and wider than previous data indicated," said Fisher. "This study very clearly shows that multiple coral communities, up to 22 kilometres from the spill site and at depths over 1800 meters, were impacted by the spill."