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Integrating Physical and Biological Studies of Recovery from the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill

By Shigenaka, Gary

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Book Id: WPLBN0000661042
Format Type: PDF eBook
File Size: 1.97 MB.
Reproduction Date: 2005
Full Text

Title: Integrating Physical and Biological Studies of Recovery from the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill  
Author: Shigenaka, Gary
Volume:
Language: English
Subject: Science., Ecology & environment, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (U.S.)
Collections: National Oceanographic Data Center
Historic
Publication Date:
Publisher: Government Reference Publication

Excerpt
Introduction: On March 24, 1989, the tanker Exxon Valdez grounded on Bligh Reef in Alaska?s Prince William Sound, rupturing its hull and spilling nearly eleven million gallons of Prudhoe Bay crude oil into a remote, scenic, and biologically productive body of water. It was the largest oil spill in U.S. waters. In the weeks and months that followed, the oil spread over a wide area in Prince William Sound and beyond, resulting in an unprecedented response and cleanup. The Hazardous Materials Response Branch (HAZMAT, now the Hazardous Materials Response and Assessment Division) of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) was among the many local, state, Federal, and private agencies and groups to provide immediate operational and scientific support during the assessment, response, and cleanup phases. In their role as science advisors to the Federal On-Scene Coordinator (FOSC), HAZMAT representatives provided spill trajectory, resources at risk, and early spill impact information during the initial stages of the spill. Once the focus shifted from response to cleanup, HAZMAT addressed issues related to the effectiveness and environmental effects of cleanup technologies.

Table of Contents
Contents Introduction..................................................................................................................................................................................v Site Selection and Report Organization................................................................................................................9 Approaches, Methods, and Definitions..................................................................................................................17 Block Island..............................................................................................................................................................................39 Northwest Bay West Arm..............................................................................................................................................81 Smith Island..............................................................................................................................................................................111 Snug Harbor ...........................................................................................................................................................................151 Discussion, Summary, and Conclusions.............................................................................................................187 References/Acronyms....................................................................................................................................................201 Appendix: Oiling and Treatment Histories.......................................................................................................A-1 Figures 1. Prince William Sound study area with sampling sites for this report. .....................................................................................................................................................10 2. Comparison of the PAH profiles for Exxon Valdez reference oil (A), combustion by-products derived from burning oil (B), diesel (#2) fuel (C), and a heavy #6 fuel oil (D)..........................................................................................................................28 3. Comparison of the PAH distribution for the Exxon Valdez reference oil (A), subsurface sediment from a gravel beach (B), intertidal sediment samples collected at a marsh (C), and surface sediment from a gravel beach (D)..............31 4. Chromatographic comparison of the alkane profile for the Exxon Valdez reference oil (top) and oil extracted from marsh sediments five years after the spill (bottom)..............................................................................................................................................34 5. Map of Block Island vicinity........................................................................................................................40 6. Detail map of Block Island site..................................................................................................................41 7. Aerial photograph of Block Island study site on April 14, 1989, three weeks after the Exxon Valdez grounded and prior to any cleanup activities.......................42

 

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