Oil Pollution

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  • Oil Pollution
    • Sources
      • Natural processes
        • Marine Seepage- 20,000 - 200,000 tpy
        • Sediment Erosion - 5,000 - 50,000 tpy
      • Tanker Discharge - 200,000 tpy
    • Properties
      • Water Insoluble
      • Volatile (can easily evaporate)
      • less dense than water
      • Persistant
      • Flammable
      • Toxic
      • Mobile
      • photodegradable
      • biodegradable
      • Varying Viscosites
    • Effects
      • Direct effects
        • Toxicity kills organism as they preen or clean themselves and inject the oil
        • Suffocation e.g. oil covers gills
        • oil damages waterproofing compounds on feathers - Birds die of hypothermia
        • oil sticks to feathers - makes flying and swimming impossible
        • oil blocks light - reducing or stopping photosynthesis
        • oil coating affects marine mammals bouyancy
        • deoxygenation - oil forms a barrier, blocking Oxygen diffusion
        • Chicks ingest contaminated food offered by adults
        • Oil in the water reduces ability of organisms to locate food or avoid predators
      • Indirect Effects
        • smell of oil can mask the smell of potential mates
        • food chain disruption
        • biodegredation increases BOD therefore decreases DO
        • adult birds spend time preening themselves - neglecting chicks
        • effects on Sonar/signalling communication by whales and Dolphins
        • Increased temperature of water due to insulating effect of oil
          • increases metabolic rate further decreasing oxygen
    • Clean Up Methods
      • Manual Recovery
      • Dispersants
      • Pumping
      • Steam Cleaning
      • Setting Fire to small oil slicks
      • Boons - underwater fences
  • BOD = Biochemical Oxygen Demand
  • DO = Dissolved Oxygen

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