Title

Surfactant Associated Bacteria in the Sea Surface Microlayer: Case Studies in the Straits of Florida and the Gulf of Mexico

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

5-21-2015

Publication Title

Canadian Journal of Remote Sensing

ISSN

0703-8992

Volume

41

Issue/No.

2

First Page

135

Last Page

143

Abstract

Certain genera of bacteria found in the near-surface layer of the ocean can be involved in the production and decay of surface active materials (surfactants), resulting in slicks on the sea surface. Slicks can be observed with airborne or satellite-based synthetic aperture radar (SAR). Here, we report results that point to a connection between the presence of surfactant-producing bacteria in the upper layer of the ocean and slicks, observed visually and in SAR imagery of the sea surface. From DNA analysis of in situ samples taken during RADARSAT-2 satellite overpass in the Straits of Florida during the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, we found a higher abundance of known surfactant-producing bacteria in the slick compared to the nonslick area; furthermore, a higher abundance of these bacteria were observed in the water column compared to those taken from the sea surface. Surfactants produced by marine bacteria in the organic matter-rich water column can then be transported to the sea surface through diffusion or advection. Within a certain range of wind-wave conditions, the organic materials (such as dissolved oil) in the water column processed by surfactant-associated bacteria can, thus, be monitored with high-resolution remote sensing techniques.

Comments

Abstract also available in French.

Additional Comments

©CASI

ORCID ID

0000-0002-2743-3602; 0000-0001-6519-1547

ResearcherID

G-4080-2013

DOI

10.1080/07038992.2015.1048849

Peer Reviewed

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