Environmental effects of

11 million gallons crude oil vs.

The Pacific Ocean
~ Exxon Valdez Spill ,1989

Oil spill is release of liquid petroleum hydrocarbon into the ocean or coastal waters, due to human activity, mainly.
• Sinking or leakage of Oil Carrying Vessels or Oil Pipelines. • Countries at war. • Illegal dumping by Industries.

• Terrorist activities.
• Natural Disasters.

• Covers the surface of water by a thick film. ( Darker the Thicker)

• Effects entire marine life.
• Fishes die, because they cannot breathe. • Nature takes up to 10 years to recover, if oil reaches the sea bed.

• 33% from oil vessels during transportation.Major inputs of petroleum to the marine environment • 37% comes from Industrial wastes. . • 2% during explorations and 12% from accidents involving tankers. Courtesy: Australian Institute of Petroleum • 9% absorbed from atmosphere. creeks. via storm water drain. reach the sea. sewage and rivers. • 7% comes from natural sources like fissures from sea bed.

• Moderate concentrations of toxic (soluble) compounds.Type 1: Very Light Oils (Jet Fuels. Gasoline) • Highly volatile (should evaporate within 1-2 days). 2 Fuel Oil. • Localized. • Cleanup can be very effective. • High concentrations of toxic (soluble) compounds. • No cleanup possible. No. will leave residue (up to one-third of spill amount) after a few days. severe impacts to water column and intertidal resources. Light Crudes) • Moderately volatile. . • Long-term contamination potential. Type 2: Light Oils (Diesel.

Bunker C) •Heavy oils with little or no evaporation or dissolution. •Shoreline cleanup difficult under all conditions..Contd. •Severe impacts to waterfowl and fur-bearing mammals (coating & ingestion) •Long-term contamination of sediments possible. •Heavy contamination of intertidal areas likely... • Cleanup most effective if conducted quickly. . Type 4: Heavy Oils (Heavy Crude Oils. •Weathers very slowly. 6 Fuel Oil. No. • Oil contamination of intertidal areas can be severe and long-term. • Oil impacts to waterfowl and fur-bearing mammals can be severe. Type 3: Medium Oils (Most Crude Oils) • About one-third will evaporate within 24 hours.

Number of spills since 1960 Region Gulf of Mexico Northeastern United States Mediterranean Sea Persian Gulf Southern North Sea 267 140 127 108 75 Number of Spills .

4. 2. Use Dispersants. . Leave the oil alone so that it breaks down by natural means. Bioremediation. Contain and cleanup the spill 3.1.

They are commonly placed: • across a narrow entrance to the ocean. . This technique works best when the oil is fresh and the weather relatively calm.of an oil slick. • in places where the boom can deflect oil away from sensitive locations. before it reaches the coast.floating barriers to oil.Spill Containment Methods: Booms . (nesting habitats) Skimmers -are boats and other devices that can remove oil from the sea surface before it reaches sensitive areas along a coastline. so that oil can't pass through into sensitive habitat. In-situ burning. or part of a slick.

Dispersants: • Chemicals that disperse the oil into the water column. . • It can affect marine organisms like deep water corals and seagrass. It can also cause oil to be temporarily accumulated by sub tidal seafood. so that much less stays at the surface. • Dispersants are most effective when used within an hour or two of the initial spill.


• During Iraq. . degraded oil in 4 days.Bioremediation: • Genetically Modified bacteria used to degrade the oil on shoreline. • The natural process can be speeded up by the addition of nitrogen and phosphorous which stimulate growth of the micro-organisms concerned. GM bacteria. • Effectiveness of this technique is limited to ground conditions.Kuwait War.

both visually and audibly. . and warns the navigator of potential danger. • Interpretations of radar and satellite images and ice reconnaissance reports for sensitive coastal areas and inland routes. • Monitoring and control equipment on ships means that discharged oilwater mixtures can be traced back to the ship that was carrying the oil. • All ships must have radar systems to improve navigation (large ships must have two systems that operate independently).Keeping the Navigator Informed • Up-to-date information on changing weather conditions. • Computer-based video display that allows navigators to track the ship's course in relation to hazards.

Effects on human health  oil or dispersants come into contact with skin.  skin irritation and breathing difficulties  Residents in the affected communities are also at risk for dermal exposure to either crude oil in the water or weathered oil on the beach . they can also cause dermatitis and other skin infections.

Oil Spills & the Effects on the Economy  Direct Costs  Direct economic costs of oil spills include the loss of the oil.  Wildlife Loss  Oil spills can kill or injure wildlife. but much higher when a large oil tanker loses part or all of its cargo. Direct costs are smaller with small spills like those of heavy bunker fuel in ships. The costs in lost fisheries production is another . The costs of cleaning up birds are one economic cost of oil spills.

 Cleanup Costs  Cleaning up spilled oil is very expensive and takes a heavy economic toll on the company spilling the oil and its insurers. This often results in lower tourist revenues. Losses to Tourism  Oil spills in tourist areas prevent the use of beaches and nearby oceans. .

 Some species easily die off.Effects on Marine and Animal Life Forms  Oil spills can kill off entire species of plants.  Invertebrates and fish that get contaminated. either through physical contact or through ingestion. initially get contaminated through physical contact . such as seals and sea lions. while others survive with severe biological complications  Birds and marine mammals. but some species of algae can thrive.

 Oil spill killed somewhere between 250.  Damage to a bird's adrenal tissue which interferes with a bird's ability to maintain blood pressure. Any oil spill in the ocean is a death sentence for sea birds. Oil spills also damage nesting grounds. and concentration of fluid in its body.Oil Spills Kill Birds:  Oil-covered birds are practically a universal symbol of the environmental damage wreaked by oil spills. which can have serious long-term effects on entire species.000 seabirds. Some species of shore birds may escape by relocating if they sense the danger in time. but sea birds that swim and dive for their food are sure to be covered in oil.000 and 500. plus a number of shore birds and bald eagles. .

Oil spill killed thousands of sea otters. and stunted growth or other damage among other species. roughly two dozen killer whales and a dozen or more river otters Oil spill scientists noted higher death rates among sea otters and some other species affected by the oil spill. an oil spill can cause damage by contaminating their food supply. Even when marine mammals escape the immediate effects. leaving them vulnerable to hypothermia.Oil Spills Kill Marine Mammals:  Oil spills frequently kill marine     mammals such as whales. seals and sea otters Oil coats the fur of otters and seals. dolphins. hundreds of harbor seals. .

shellfish and other marine life. as this type of whale feeds by skimming the surface and filtering out the water . Those fisheries still have not recovered. coral reefs. interfering with their breeding.  Oil spill destroyed billions of salmon and herring eggs.  Damage to estuaries.Oil Spills Kill Fish :  Oil spills often take a deadly toll on fish.  Interference with a baleen whale's feeding system by tar-like oil. seagrass and mangrove habitats which are the breeding areas of many fish and crustaceans.

Oil Spills Destroy Wildlife Habitat and Breeding Grounds:  The long-term damage to various species. . and to the habitat and nesting or breeding grounds those species depend upon for their survival. is one of the most far-reaching environmental effects caused by oil spills.  Sea turtles can be harmed by oil they encounter in thea water or on the beach where they lay their eggs.

Oil spills on the surface of the water are subjected to the whims of weather. it does not blend with the water. When oil is released into water.Oil spills affect water in a variety of ways. Oil floats on the surface of salt and fresh water. . waves and currents Different types of oil react differently when spilled.

Effects on the Coastline. .  Harsh effects oil has on the coastline  Oil will stay on shore until weather and time break the oil down.

.Wildlife.  It also affects the mammals and birds who come in contact with the water for food.  Oil slick steps the flow of oxygen to water & hamper the marine plant life.  Those fishes & marine life which comes in contact with oil are badly effected on their reproduction abilities & this result in reduction in marine population growth .

. •Oil Tanker names Exxon Valdez got struck in Alaska.6 million litre oil spilled into the sea.•Largest Oil Spill in the history of America. •41. 1989.

.  Several clean up method was unsuccessful. hence only accessible by helicopters and boats.  Cost of cleaning involved was 2 billion $.  11. Occurred in the remote location.000 staff required. 1400 vessels and 85 Aircraft to clean the contamination.


Effects on Animals and Birds .

but that may cause the environmental harm. but weather was not co-operative near the coast. Burn oil was consulted by experts. .  Third attempt was made using the application of dispersants to the surface.  Skimmers began to remove the oil from the surface which was full of debris.


with the addition of nutrients. Special attention was given to sensitive areas which includes Seal puppying.  Bioremediation processes were considered for treating the oil contamination on shorelines. enough microorganisms existed naturally in the region for successful recovery through natural methods. and it was found that. and shorelines. fish hatcheries. .

oil tank owners and operators. which the United States passed to strengthen regulations on oil tank vessels.  A significant result of the Exxon Valdez oil spill was the implementation of the Oil Pollution Act of 1990. . 50 percent of the spilled oil degraded by natural processes on beaches. in the water and in tidal sediment.

 In United Nations treaty called as MARPOL came into effect.  MARPOL stands for Marine Pollution Control  Tankers should contain double hulls inside the ships. .

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