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A major crude oil spill occurred following an explosion aboard the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) drilling platform in the northern Gulf of Mexico (GOM) on April 20, 2010. This spill differed from other significant oil spill events in that it was the largest accidental oil spill in US history. It occurred in the open ocean at a depth of 1500, and both oil and dissolved oil had the potential to affect distant areas of the GOM at the ocean surface and subsurface. This spill occurred in a significant ecosystem that supports major fisheries, and numerous endemic and migrating populations of fish, reptiles, birds, marine mammals, plankton and various sensitive benthic communities. A very large effort was initiated and sustained by the scientific and operational communities of the nations bordering the GOM to assess the extent to which oil was spreading. The oil continuously entered the deep GOM between late April and the time of final capping on July 15, 2010, spreading by means ocean and wind forcing at the surface and subsurface...