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Image : Popular Way to Assess Oil Spills Can Be Misused


Location: San Francisco Bay
Date: November 7, 2007

Lat./Long.:  37°48'29.30"N, 122°23'8.06"W
Material spilled: Bunker fuel
Amount spilled: approx. 53,500 gallons
Spill extent: 150 sq. miles; 26 miles of shoreline

The “pom-pom” method uses long strands of absorbent polypropylene swabs, which look like cheerleaders’ pom-poms, dragged along ocean- or river-bottom sediments to locate large areas where spilled oil has sunk. The method is in demand because it offers a rapid, low-cost results, but a marine chemist at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution has cautioned that the method is in danger of being misused. (Courtesy of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers)

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Last updated: July 28, 2014
 


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