How hot is the stuff coming out, what is it's chemical make-up? How cold is the ocean suppose to be at that depth? Does anyone know offhand?
Not sure Bette,
Temp: I recall seeing one refernce to "hundreds of degrees" but then again, I am not sure how consistent that could be with methyl hydrate crystal formation, something that everyone seems to agree has occurred. I have also seen references that suggested that it was 34 degrees F, but that seems puzzling too... I don't think that arctic waters flow there, and I've read that water is heaviest (densest) at 40 degrees, colder water and ice floating on above it.
Chemistry: All sorts of petrol related chemistry I suppose, but notably benzene and methane. Also lots of Hydrogen Sulfide, which is itself corrosive to metals (more so with pressure, temperature, and motion) and which is not too hard to convert to sulfurous acids, which are even more corrosive. The Corexit being sprayed is considered to be several times more toxic than the oil gunk itself, and the two together are reported to have a synergistic effect that greatly enhances toxicity. I heard one fellow, somewhere on the radio I believe, say that they went out on a boat, that there was oil everywhere, that the smell was very strong, and that when he got back, the fumes had washed the color out of the exposed portions of a shirt that he was wearing, while the parts that were in folds or covered held some of their color still. (Just going by memory a few days back, may not have the facts perfect, but they were reasonably close to the above). He sounded credible.
Something to watch for will be blogs from La. and Tx. over the next few days as the tropical system in the western Gulf blows a whole lot of air and water their way.
<Soapbox/> (Mainstream media appears to be largely blacked out on this event, as suggested by all the blogs and youtube material from Louisanna through Florida and even up the east coast. Anyone who still thinks that our big media are free and unbiased or unrestrained, research this, and adjust your thinking accordingly. It is an issue that is maybe even as serious as the gulf problem itself, in as much as a society that can no longer dialog with itself is in a condition that is as critical as a body whose organs can no longer hear or interpret each other's signals.) </Soapbox>
With luck maybe the wind will spread things out enough to dilute them so that they don't cause too much damage.