Research consortia involved in the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI) self-organized a rapid response to characterize the waters around the Hercules 265 rig. They found evidence of an immediate response from the surrounding environment’s microbial community to elevated methane concentrations. Using radium isotope measurements, researchers created a timeline of bottom water exposure to the rig’s output. They published their findings in Deep-Sea Research II: Hercules 265 rapid response: Immediate ecosystem impacts of a natural gas blowout incident.

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