Oil on the water surface, on marshes, and on beaches can be seen by the naked eye, allowing removal efforts to be carried out. However, subsurface oil (oil in the deep water) often requires the need for highly specialized instruments to detect very low concentrations of oil, due both to its location and to chemical and physical changes it has undergone. To date, government and academic oceanographers, chemists,and biologists onshore and on a fleet of vessels operating in the Gulf have collected tens of thousands of samples. The data from the subsurface oil monitoring program support a step-by-step process leading to oil removal and restoration of the Gulf. Data collected in the Gulf are being catalogued and posted on NOAA’s National Oceanographic Data Center.
Data from NOAA, and its federal and academic partners’ gulf science missions are being made available at NOAA’s National Oceanographic Data Center.
Report by the Operational Science Advisory Team providing a summary and analysis of data from the subsurface monitoring program, including links to the datasets are available at: http://www.restorethegulf.gov/release/2010/12/16/data-analysis-and-findings
See Joint Anaylsis Group section below for analysis of subsurface data