Field Activity 1987-043-FA

Identifier 1987-043-FA
Purpose The purpose of this report is to describe the search efforts and successful location of four underwater sites where exploratory oil wells were drilled in the vicinity of Key West, Florida in the late 1950s and early 1960s. This work was part of Phase One of a two-part MMS-funded study consisting of (1) location and verification of sites (Phase One) followed by (2) biological and geological assessment of the impact caused by drilling (Phase Two).
Location Key West, Florida, United States, Gulf of Mexico, North America, North Atlantic;
Summary All the sites were marked with permanent buoys tied to the bottom and accurate LORAN-C TDs were taken at each site. The sites can easily be reoccupied even if the buoys are missing. Physical damage is fairly obvious, although the total area affected is small. What is yet to be determined is whether there was biological damage caused by drilling fluids and cuttings and whether the fauna have recovered to predrilling conditions. In the case of site D-E1, fish life is more abundant than in the adjacent areas because the cement bags and other debris provide shelter and thus serve as an artificial reef. The bottom fauna have been modified and, as pointed out in the BLM report, the alga Halimeda is abundant, whereas the surrounding area has more alcunarians and less Halimeda. This change is probably due to the blanket of pebbles that covers the hard substrate. The two remaining sites to the west of the Marquesas should not be difficult to find, given calm weather. We intend to search these sites in June or July of 1988. In addition, we feel that for environmental reasons the well in Florida Bay is extremely significant. This site should be located and a survey of its effects made.
Captains Lady
Fishing Boat
Start Key Biscayne, FL 1987-10-26
End Stock Island, FL 1987-11-15
Days in the field 21
West -82.5
East -82
North 24.84
South 24.33


384 Woods Hole Road
Quissett Campus
Woods Hole, MA02543-1598
(508) 548-8700
Principal investigators Shinn, Eugene A.
Crew members
Lidz, Barbara H.
Scientist, Staff
Shinn, Eugene A.
Scientist, Staff
Hudson, J. Harold
Scientist, Staff
Affiliate staff Less Dauterieve - MMS

Data types and categories

Data category: Electro-Magnetic, Location-Elevation
Data type: Magnetics, Navigation

Documents: Notes and log books

Name Description
Cruise report Chief Scientist's report including introduction, methods, and results. Al has personnel, daily narrative, figures of magnetic anomalies, well site locations,

Equipment used

Equipment Usage description Data types Datasets
Marine magnetometer Magnetics (no data reported)
Loran-C Navigation (no data reported)


Samples collected during this field activity