STP659: Some Guidelines for Oil-Spill Control in Coastal Environments, Based on Field Studies of Four Oil Spills

    Gundlach, ER
    University of South Carolina, Columbia, S. C.

    Hayes, MO
    University of South Carolina, Columbia, S. C.

    Ruby, CH
    University of South Carolina, Columbia, S. C.

    Ward, LG
    University of South Carolina, Columbia, S. C.

    Blount, AE
    University of South Carolina, Columbia, S. C.

    Fischer, IA
    University of South Carolina, Columbia, S. C.

    Stein, RJ
    University of South Carolina, Columbia, S. C.

    Pages: 21    Published: Jan 1978


    Abstract

    It is essential to understand the factors influencing the distribution, damage and long-term persistence of oil spills in order to adequately plan for, and apply appropriate cleanup techniques. Based on the study of two massive spills [Metula, 47 700 t (53 000 tons)]; [Urquiola, 22 500 to 27 000 t (25 000 to 30 000 tons)] and two smaller spills under ice conditions [Bouchard 65, 248 t (276 tons); Ethel H., 1350 t (1500 tons)], these factors are (1) wind stress and water currents, (2) beach activity and grain size, (3) tidal stage, (4) wave energy, (5) oil quantity and composition, and (6) ice effects, where applicable.

    Coastal environments vary significantly in terms of resultant damage from spilled oil. Subsequent cleanup by dispersants or mechanical means should be planned accordingly. Considering the aforementioned factors, as well as initial biological effects, a classification of coastal environments in terms of potential oil spill damage has been developed. In order of increasing vulnerability, these environments are: (1) exposed, steeply dipping or cliffed rocky shores; (2) eroding wave-cut platforms; (3) fine-sand beaches; (4) coarse-sand beaches; (5) exposed, compacted tidal flats; (6) mixed sand and gravel beaches; (7) gravel beaches; (8) sheltered rocky coasts; (9) sheltered tidal flats; and (10) salt marshes and mangroves. This classification can be used to delineate oil-sensitive environments as part of an overall contingency plan to limit damage during an oil spill.

    Keywords:

    oil spills, coastal environments, marine and beach processes, cleanup


    Paper ID: STP35713S

    Committee/Subcommittee: F20.11

    DOI: 10.1520/STP35713S


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