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Illinois IGB


Art of Science Gallery 05

Zeiss Axioobserver with the Apotome

David Waterman
Marcelo H. Garcia Laboratory
Ven Te Chow Hydrosystems Laboratory

Funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

This sparkling cloud is actually an aggregate of oil and fine sediment that occurs when water, fine sediment, and an oil film is mixed. The bright white circles are droplets of oil that fluoresce under ultraviolet light. The darker material surrounding the droplets is a complex group of fine sediment grains that reflect visible light. Examining how this type of aggregate forms can help researchers understand how spilled oil lingers in the environment and affects wildlife and human health.