Computational Statistics

, Volume 29, Issue 1–2, pp 133–140 | Cite as

Effect of Oil Spill on Birds: A Graphical Assay of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill’s Impact on Birds

Original Paper


The Deepwater Horizon oil spill was an ecologically devastating event in the Gulf of Mexico, which saw the estimated release of over 4 million barrels of oil after flowing for three months in 2010. The US Fish and Wildlife Service provided a data set of 7,229 bird records. We aimed to illustrate the important features of the data set utilizing a blend of analytics and graphics executed through traditional and cloud-based software. It is concluded from the graphs that the areas containing the greatest concentration of birds were nearest to the coasts adjacent to New Orleans and the Deepwater platform. Moreover, the result of the logistic regression confirmed what is seen in bar charts, that the Laughing Gull and Brown Pelican, among many others, were most mortally impacted by the oil spill. Furthermore, additional investigation into the morbidity impact on birds over time indicates a lagging effect. A similar lag is present in the oiling of the birds where a separate time series shows the oiled/not visibly oiled birds alternating in frequency over the collection period.


2011 ASA Data Exposition Cloud Computing Google Fusion Tables Tableau Logistic regression 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.California State University East BayHaywardUSA

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