Lessons Learned from Deepwater Horizon

As released in the newsroom on the USGS website, several papers regarding the Deepwater Horizon oil spill are presented as a collection on this topic. The papers outline the accuracy of the information that was given to the public and evaluate the response process.

Valuable lessons were learned, with preparation and knowledge being two key elements needed to respond to disasters such as the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, one of the worst environmental emergencies in the history of the U.S. […].

Two overview papers and 13 specialty papers constitute a special section of the prestigious Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. Of the 15 papers, three are newly published: two introductory papers and one specialty paper provide an inside look at the scientific and engineering aspects of stopping the flow of oil, guaranteeing the integrity of the well once it was shut in, estimating the amount of oil spilled, capturing and recovering oil, tracking and forecasting surface oil, protecting coastal and oceanic wildlife and habitat, managing fisheries and protecting the safety of seafood. The papers describe the process underway to determine the impact of the spill on the natural resources and ecosystems of the Gulf of Mexico, but because those analyses are not completed, no conclusions are presented. The remaining 12 papers have been previously published online.

Image credit: USCG