Giant Underwater Plume Confirmed—Gulf Oil Not Degrading

Many scientists had predicted that oil-eating bacteria—already common in the Gulf due to natural oil seeps—would process much of the crude leaked from BP's Deepwater Horizon wellhead, which was capped July 15. (Read more about how nature is fighting the oil spill.)

But new evidence shows that a 22-mile-long (35-kilometer-long), 650-foot-high (200-meter-high) pocket of oil has persisted for months at depths of 3,600 feet (1,100 meters), according to a team from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) in Massachusetts.

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