April 20, 2010 – the Deep Water Horizon drilling rig

NOAA has announced the release of a comprehensive, quality controlled dataset that give access to millions of chemical analyses and other data on the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.  The dataset, collected to support oil removal activities and assess the  presence of dispersants, wraps up a three year process that began with the gathering of water samples and measurements by ships in the Gulf of Mexico during and after the oil release in 2010.

NOAA was one of the principal agencies  responding to the Macondo well explosion in the Gulf of Mexico, and is the  official ocean data archivist for the federal government. While earlier  versions of the data were made available during and shortly after the response,  it took three years for NOAA employees and contractors to painstakingly catalog  each piece of data into this final form.

The chemical analyses dataset can be accessed at http://www.nodc.noaa.gov/deepwaterhorizon/specialcollections.html.   A companion dataset that includes ocean temperature, salinity, currents and other properties can be accessed at http://www.nodc.noaa.gov/deepwaterhorizon/insitu.html.

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