The Center for the Integrated Modeling and Analysis of the Gulf Ecosystem (C-IMAGE)

The Center for Integrated Modeling and Analysis of Gulf Ecosystems (C-IMAGE) is a research consortium of 19 U.S. and international partners focused on effects of oil spills on marine environments. The C-IMAGE consortium is currently in their second installment of funding from the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI) in response to the Deepwater Horizon blowout of 2010.

Beginning in 2011, C-IMAGE I received funding from GoMRI to study the processes and effects of the BP oil spill on the Gulf of Mexico. With help from domestic and international partners, we began studying the physical, chemical, and biological processes occurring when oil and dispersants are introduced to a marine ecosystem. Our consortium began connecting researchers across disciplines and academic institutions to create a holistic view of marine environments during and after oil spills. Through high-pressure experiments, calibrated modeling, and field research, C-IMAGE I has laid a foundation for future research throughout the Gulf of Mexico.

Projects from C-IMAGE I included: ecosystem modeling based on biological, chemical, and physical data sets, marine resource assessments of ichthyoplankton, fish, and marine mammals, oil and dispersant toxicology, simulating high-pressure environments and their effects on fluids, and sediment analysis of oil-affected areas of the sea floor.