This Disgusting Pink Plume Could Help Us Clean Up Oil Spills

By Jamie Condliffe on at

Even after Deepwater Horizon we're still not ready for the next big spill. But that doesn't mean we're not trying. This weird pink plume could help.

One of the biggest problems is that oil plumes in the ocean are unpredictable. Variations in temperature and salinity can create stacked layers of water with differing densities, and that can means that the oil doesn't rise up from the bottom of the sea in as straight a line as you may imagine.

This pink experimental plume allows scientists to understand how injecting additives or surfactants into the oil can change the way it behaves underwater, while perhaps helping us avoid another Deepwater Horizon. [AGU via Fuck Year Fluid Dynamics]

Image by R. Camassa et al.