Chapt 11- Ocean Pollution.doc

Chapt 11- Ocean Pollution.doc - OCE-2001 Notes Exam 3 1...

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OCE-2001 Notes - Exam 3 1 Chapter 11 – Marine Pollution Overview Pollution is a major issue in the ocean. The marine environment has problems associated with petroleum pollution. Marine environmental problems are associated with point source and non-point source pollution. Biological pollution is a concern in the marine environment. Various laws govern ocean ownership. Marine pollution - Any harmful substance or energy put into the oceans by humans Harmful to living organisms Environmental bioassay – concentration of pollutant that causes 50% mortality among test organisms - LD 50 (lethal dose) Widely used technique for determining how particular pollutant affects marine organisms Pollutant concentration limits established Drawbacks of environmental bioassay Does not predict long-term effect of pollution Does not predict effects of pollutants combining with other substances Time-consuming and organism-specific Hindrance to marine activities (e.g., fishing, boating, beaches) Aesthetically displeasing Reduction in quality of sea water Waste disposal in ocean Diluting pollutants with huge volume of ocean water Long-term effects not known Debate about dumping wastes in ocean None at all – waste must be disposed on land Some, as long as properly disposed and monitored Main types of marine pollution Petroleum Sewage sludge DDTs and PCBs Mercury Non-point-source pollution Trash – from both land sources and shipping Plastics a particular problem because of their long life Petroleum – (crude oil is a complex mixture of materials called hydrocarbons) Sources of oil in the ocean Natural seepage – 47% of oil in the ocean Human sources – 53% of oil in the ocean Human consumption – 38% of oil in the ocean Industrial waste and leakage Non tanker vessels and individual boat owners Pavement run-off - * additive impact Oil spills due to accidents in transport Blowout of undersea oil wells BP DWH, Ixtoc #1, Gulf of Mexico, 1979 Leaks from every-day drilling operations
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OCE-2001 Notes - Exam 3 2 Tanker and refinery leaks War and acts of terrorism Persian Gulf 1991 Petroleum in the ocean environment Biodegradable hydrocarbons Recovery faster than expected But many organisms killed outright Long-term consequences uncertain Notable Oil spills in U.S . Exxon Valdez , Alaska, 1989 2 nd largest spill in US history (11.6 million gallons) Tanker carrying crude oil ran aground Oil spread over 1100 miles of coast – greatly impacted coastal wetlands Beaches left alone recovered faster than “cleaned” beaches $2.9 billion clean-up and restoration BP Deep Water Horizon, Gulf of Mexico, 2010 – (206 million gallons) Largest oil spill in US history and largest accidental spill worldwide Oil platform exploded allowing oil to flow uncapped for 3 months Estimated cost of cleanup tops $40 billion
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