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
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)