By Tampa Bay Business Journal

University of South Florida researchers confirmed underwater oil plumes found in the northern Gulf of Mexico are from the Deepwater Horizon spill.

David Hollander, a USF chemical oceanographer, used a chemical fingerprinting process to link the plumes to the oil spill, according to a university statement.

Water samples from the plumes were gathered in late May and then compared with oil samples provided by BP in June after the company initially refused to provide a sample from the well for the comparison.

The confirmation shows the oil spill is ⿿a three-dimensional catastrophe,⿝ Hollander said.

The plumes of biodegraded oil were found in depths up to three-quarters of a mile below the gulfâ¿¿s surface.

Scientists are conducting research to determine what impact the subsurface oil may have on marine life and the gulfâ¿¿s ecology.

Copyright 2010 American City Business Journals
Copyright 2010