Presentation on theme: "1. Remember that oil does not dissolve in water, but does like to stick to other oils. Many marine organisms such as birds and otters have natural."— Presentation transcript:
Remember that oil does not dissolve in water, but does like to stick to other oils. Many marine organisms such as birds and otters have natural oils on their feathers/fur. Crude oil will dissolve in this natural oil, coating the organism. CLICK THIS FOR VIDEO
Oil can also get in the organisms eyes, lungs, and stomach. Ingestion or inhalation of oil can have profound effects on both human and marine life. Remember that oil does not dissolve in water, but does like to stick to other oils. Many marine organisms such as birds and otters have natural oils on their feathers/fur. Crude oil will dissolve in this natural oil, coating the organism.
Crude oil is composed of multiple types of hyrocarbons. These hydrocarbons vary in size and state of matter. Some may be liquid others gaseous. These molecules can be very toxic to cells. (2)
Benzene (and other components of oil) are non- polar. They easily dissolve in the phospholipids of cell membranes. These molecules can dissolve membranes, destroying cells. (2) Benzene is fairly stable and therefore persistent in the environment. (5) 4
Upon inhalation, it can induce: Neurological effects (ie. loss of consciousness and convulsions) Dizziness, drowsiness, vomiting. Skin, eye and lung irritation (even blisters). Immunologic complications. (6) Benzene can also depress bone marrow functioning in humans. This leads to reduces blood cell counts. It may be linked to forms of leukemia. (7)
Because of its toxicity, oil can effect all marine life at every level of the food chain. Small single celled organisms like phytoplankton may become toxic due to exposure. These or the oil itself may be eaten by other organisms (ie. fish). The toxic components of oil can then biomagnify as they move up the food chain.
Not only are organisms exposed to the oil itself, they are consuming the toxins! 8
How does it get there? Why is it so bad? Remember that oil is persistent and the components vary in size. This is what makes it so difficult to contain and clean. Ocean currents, type of shoreline, weather conditions, depth of spill and type of oil all have an effect on how bad it will be.
Feb 2001 – Deepwater Horizon arrives in the Gulf of Mexico. April 20, 2010 – an explosion and resulting fire kills 11 people and injures 17. April 22, 2010 – the rig sinks and first signs of an oil slick begin to appear. April 25, 2010 – underwater sensing equipment suggest that 1,000 barrels per day are leaking into the Gulf of Mexico. This estimate increased to 5,000 bpd by the 28 th. (10) 9
Response Initial response was to put out fires and find missing workers. Secondary response was to stop oil from a bent and leaking valve 5,000 feet deep. Tried plugging with mud Tried putting a cement hat on the well. Tried robots with diamond-blade saws to cut the bent valve and recap. Tried a relief well. 9
Finally, on July 15, 2010, the well was capped. Relief wells were finished to reduce pressure. Total spill million barrels (11) 1 barrel = 42 gallons 4.9 million barrels = 2.06 billion gallons Put into perspective 1 Olympic swimming pool = 660,430 gallons Deepwater Horizon spill = 3,116 Olympic pools
Now that the oil is spilled. How do we clean it? Dispersants Sorbents Booms Skimmers Pumps Tow outside environment Tow outside environment Tow outside environment 11
Working in pairs, you will each research and present a different cleanup technique. You will have about minutes to prepare your presentation. We will present tomorrow.
1. Image: Encyclopedia of the Earth. Accessed on 12/11/2010 from 2. Reinhardt, D. Crude Environmental Oil – Potential Hazard to Life and Living Organisms. (2010). The Science Super School Online. Accessed on 12/2/2010 from spills-mdash-biological-medical-chemical-dangers.html 3. Image: Fourwinds10.com. Accessed on 12/11/2010 from 4. Image: Wikipedia. Accessed on 12/11/2010 from 5. Committee on Oil in the Sea: Inputs, Fates, and Effects, National Research Council. Oil in the Sea III: Inputs, Fates, and Effects. (2003). The National Acadamies Press. ISBN-10: Accessed on 12/2/2010 from 6. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). Toxicological Profile for Benzene - Draft. (1997). U.S. Public Health Service, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Atlanta, GA. 7. Snyder, R and CC Hedli. An Overview of Benzene Metabolism. Environmental Health Perspectives. (1996) Vol 104, Supplement 6. Accessed on 12/2/2010 from 8. Image: Government of Alberta Water Quality Information. Accessed on 12/12/2010 from 9. Image: Wikipedia Deepwater Horizon. Accessed on 12/12/2010 from 10. Deepwater Horizon: A timeline of Events. Offshore-Technology.com. (2010). Accessed on 12/11/2010 from 11. Cleveland, C. Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Encyclopedia of the Earth. (5 Dec 2010). Accessed on 12/2/2010 from