Civil’s Socolofsky participates in Gulf Integrated Spill Research cruise

Image of Scott SocolofskyDr. Scott Socolofsky, associate professor in the Zachry Department of Civil Engineering at Texas A&M University, participated in a 13-day research cruise aboard the E/V Nautilus as part of the Gulf Integrated Spill Research (GISR) Consortium, funded by the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI).

The vision of the GISR Consortium is to understand and predict the fundamental behavior of petroleum fluids in the ocean environment. The group’s focus on this cruise was to collect new field measurements needed to validate numerical models of oil and gas dissolution and fate in the water column. To accomplish this goal the team used several tools to collect a comprehensive mass balance for hydrocarbon gas from the sea floor to the surface at a natural seep gas field in the Gulf of Mexico.

Scientists acoustically and visually mapped the bubble/droplet plume and collected water and gas samples for concentration and biodegradation experiments through the water column at several different times while on-site. More information is available on the Nautilus website. A brief video overview of the GISR cruise is also available here

During the cruise, the group had a rare encounter with a sperm whale that circled their ROV several times. The video can be seen here.

Sperm WhaleSource: Ocean Exploration Trust