Brian Handwerk

for National Geographic News

Published April 19, 2011

On the first anniversary of the Gulf oil spill, scientists caution that it could take years to understand the full scope of the disaster. (See photos of the Gulf oil spill in National Geographic magazine.)

But many are encouraged because the damage could have been far worse—and nature is already showing signs of resilience.

On April 20, 2010, a massive explosion rocked the Transocean oil rig Deepwater Horizon, a state-of-the art mobile offshore drilling platform at work on a well in the Gulf of Mexico. Eleven workers were killed by the blast and survivors had just minutes to flee an inferno that would soon burn and sink the rig.

The accident unleashed a torrent of oil that began roaring from an underground Macondo reservoir into the Gulf waters. During the first few frantic days of the BP crisis that became the worst oil spill in U.S. history, experts had a hard time determining what was happening—much less what the spill’s ultimate environmental and economic consequences might be.

 

Read the rest of this post at http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2011/04/110420-gulf-oil-spill-anniversary-year-later-science-nation-environment/

 

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