Wed, March 28, 2012
Technology > Science

Oil spill destroys coral community

2012-03-28 05:28:52 GMT2012-03-28 13:28:52(Beijing Time)  SINA.com

This October 2010 photo provided by Penn State University shows the arms of a brittle starfish, red in color, clinging to coral damaged by the Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico. After months of laboratory work, scientists say they can definitively finger oil from BP’s blown-out well as the culprit for widespread damage and the slow death of a deep-sea coral community in the Gulf of Mexico. (AP Photo/NOAA and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute)

An undated image provided by the NOAA shows a shallow-water coral reef a gray angelfish swimming amongst soft corals in the Florida Keys. Despite BP siphoning some of the oil spewing into the Gulf of Mexico, worries escalated about the ooze reaching a major ocean current that could carry it through the Florida Keys and up the East Coast. (AP Photo/NOAA)

This undated photo provided by the Lophelia II 2010 research group, shows coral, several miles from the site of the blown-out BP well in the Gulf of Mexico, apparently covered with brown material. For the first time, federal scientists say they have found damage to deep sea coral and other marine life from the the Deepwater Horizon rig, but tests are needed to verify that the coral died from oil from released in the disaster.

This undated photo provided by the Lophelia II 2010 research group, shows a sea fan, Callogorgia gracilis, with brittle star Asteroschema sp. clinging to coral branches, several miles from the site of the blown-out BP well in the Gulf of Mexico. The coral is also colonized by a type of anemone, shown on the right side of the image, that grows on the dead branches of many species of deep water corals, and is a common natural occurrence.

In this October 2010 photo made available by Penn State University, the Alvin submersible vehicle inspects a coral site found to be impacted by the oil spill from the Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico. (AP Photo/Chuck Fisher of Penn State University and Timothy Shank of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute)

Sandra Brooke, director of coral conservation for the Marine Conservation Biology Institute, prepares a piece of dyed coral to be lanced in a lander, an underwater structure, to sit for a year on the floor of the Gulf of Mexico to study the growth rates and possible effects of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Louisiana, Friday, Oct. 15, 2010.

After months of laboratory work, scientists say they can definitively finger oil from BP's blown-out well as the culprit for the slow death of a once brightly colored deep-sea coral community in the Gulf of Mexico that is now brown and dull.

(Agencies)

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