Paper 4 - Daniel Nechamkin Oceans in Peril: Natural Oil...

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Daniel Nechamkin Oceans in Peril: Natural Oil Spills Not all oil spills occur by large ships leaking their gas into the ocean. Take a look at the Gulf of Mexico. Every summer natural oil leaks from the Texas/Louisiana area and into the Gulf of Mexico. It doesn’t stop here. The oil then get transported to the ocean and rise to the surface due to buoyancy, before evaporating into the atmposphere. The Gulf of Mexico is a unique place on Earth because it contains a large natural salt bed, deployed during the Jurassic Period. That salt bed contains various features which ease the hydrocarbons of the oils into the Gulf. Hydrocarbons contain very strong bonds. They are so strong that when they evaporate, they leave a waxy area in the water due to the lack of ripples there. Scientists have been able to track where oil spills occur through satellite imagery. While satellites pick up on other waxy images, oil is unique in that spans much longer than any of these other phenomena. There comes the question whether life in these natural oil spills can exist.
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This note was uploaded on 04/08/2008 for the course EES 103 taught by Professor Oceanography during the Spring '08 term at Vanderbilt.

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