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Oil Spills


Researchers discover an immense hydrocarbon cycle in the world’s ocean

Phys.org

Hydrocarbons and petroleum are almost synonymous in environmental science. After all, oil reserves account for nearly all the hydrocarbons we encounter. But the few hydrocarbons that trace their origin to biological sources may play a larger ecological role than scientists originally suspected.

Shipping-Gate: Why Toxic VLSFO Fuel Is Such A Danger For Global Shipping

Forbes

This chemical signature also reveals what would happen if that oil was ever leaked into the natural environment or made contact with humans. A process known as Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS) is what is used, as the U.S. laboratory WHOI is internationally renowned for.

A checkup for the oceans reveals threats to human health

The health of the world’s ocean is in serious decline—and human health is suffering as a result. A comprehensive report from the Monaco Commission and co-authored by several WHOI researchers investigates the impacts of ocean pollution and recommends actions to safeguard human health.

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What did we learn from the Deepwater Horizon disaster?

Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN)
chemical and engineering news

All existing tests on the efficacy of dispersants had been conducted on the surface of water, says Elizabeth Kujawinski, a chemical oceanographer at WHOI. There was no guarantee that they would perform the same way in the crushing depths of the ocean.

As if Yemen Needed More Woes, a Decrepit Oil Tanker Threatens Disaster

DNYUZ

The task at hand is to keep a bad situation from getting worse, said Christopher M. Reddy, a marine scientist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. “We have a problem, it has a potential for harm, so how do we do it to create the least amount of damage?” he said.

Scientists Discover A New Material For Cleaning Up Oil Spills

NPR

In the middle of a battle like an oil spill, you want to have a very predictable material that is easily deployed and creates no uncertainty, says Chris Reddy, at WHOI. And these natural products carry just a lot more uncertainty. Despite this uncertainty, he says, maybe hair can teach us how to make better materials. And Georgia Tech’s David Hu says the study made him look at hair differently.

1969 Fuel Barge Florida

Location: Buzzards Bay, off West Falmouth, Mass. Date: September 16, 1969 Lat./Long.: 41°35’57.60″N, 70°41’47.88″W Material spilled: No. 2 fuel oil Amount spilled: 189,000…

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1975 Oil Barge Bouchard 65

Location: Buzzards Bay, near Cape Cod Canal Date: October 9, 1974 Lat./Long.: 41°37’58.10″N, 70°43’59.09″W Material spilled: Diesel fuel Amount spilled: 11,000 to 37,000…

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1976 M/V Argo Merchant

Location: 29 miles southeast of Nantucket Island Date: December 15, 1976 Lat./Long.: 41°1’58.8″N, 69° 27’0″W Material spilled: No. 6 Fuel Oil and…

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1979 Ixtoc I Oil Well

Location: Bay of Campeche, Gulf of Mexico Date: June 3, 1979 to March 23, 1980 Lat./Long.: 19°24’29.42″N, 92°19’36.64″W Material spilled: Crude oil…

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1989 Supertanker Exxon Valdez

Location: Prince William Sound, Alaska Date: March 23, 1989 Lat./Long.: 60°34’23.53″N, 147°17’9.94″W Material spilled: North Slope crude oil Amount spilled: 10.8 million gallons…

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1996 Tank Barge North Cape

Location: Block Island Sound off Moonstone Beach, R.I. Date: January 19, 1996 Lat./Long.: 41°22’10.43″N, 71°34’22.74″W Material spilled: No. 2 fuel oil Amount…

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2003 Tank Barge Bouchard 120

Location: Buzzards Bay off Westport, Mass. Date: April 27, 2003 Lat./Long.: 41°29’22.10″N, 70°59’17.80″W Material spilled: No. 6 fuel oil Amount spilled: approx. 98,000…

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2007 M/V Hebei Spirit

Location: Yellow Sea off Taean County, South Korea Date: December 7, 2007 Lat./Long.: 36°53’34.97″N, 126° 3’31.70″E Material spilled: Light crude oil Amount…

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2007 M/V Cosco Busan

M/V Cosco Busan

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.…

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The Deepwater Horizon Disaster Fueled a Gulf Science Bonanza

Wired
wired logo

Chris Reddy is an expert in oil spill science who in 2010 helped determine the size, heading, and chemical composition of the underwater plume from an oceanographic research vessel and underwater robot near the Macondo well site, about 80 miles south of New Orleans.