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Question: What will happen if you pour oil into water? Why?

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Presentation on theme: "Question: What will happen if you pour oil into water? Why?"— Presentation transcript:

1 Question: What will happen if you pour oil into water? Why?

2 MYP Unit Question: What’s out there? Standard: Explain the effects of human activity on the Earth’s surface. Essential Question: What are the causes and effects of oil spills on a water surface?

3 Oil Spills in the US The Exxon Valdez oil spill was one of the largest oil spills ever. It took four summers to clean up the spill.

4 Exxon Valdez On March 24, the tanker Exxon Valdez ran aground a reef in Prince William Sound, Alaska. The ship was going from Alaska to Los Angeles, and it was traveling outside normal shipping lanes due to ice. It was carrying 53 million gallons of oil. It spilled almost 11 million gallons.

5 Exxon Valdez



8 Complicated issues People need oil transported to places to be used for energy When oil spills happen, oil companies want use economical methods for clean up How much should oil companies pay for punitive damages? Oil spills impact the environment Environmentalists want the oil spill cleaned up by the best method no matter what the cost Oil spills cause loss of jobs for fishermen

9 BP Deepwater Horizon April 20, 2010

10 4.9 million barrels of oil were spilled Oil from the spill pools on the Louisiana coast.


12 How much oil was spilled in the Deepwater Horizon spill? You could drive a Toyota Prius around the equator 184,181 times. You could fill 311 Olympic sized swimming pools. 13,208 homes could have been heated for one year.

13 Cornell Notes Why are oil spills difficult to clean up? What are the 4 main ways to clean up an oil spill? Summary

14 Why are oil spills difficult to clean up? No two oils spills are the same because of the variation in oil types, locations, and weather conditions involved. There are 4 main methods of response.

15 Natural means Let the oil break down by natural means. A combination of wind, sun, current and wave action will rapidly disperse and evaporate most oils. This method works best for light oils.

16 Containment by skimming Contain the spills with booms and collect it from the water surface using skimmer equipment. Oil floats on water, and skimmers scoop the oil into storage tanks. Booms and skimmers do not work well in high winds and high seas.

17 Boom and Skimmers

18 Dispersants Dispersants break up the oil slick on the surface into little droplets, which can hselp speed up natural evaporation. Dispersion of oil can affect marine organisms.

19 Dispersants

20 Bioremediation Oil can be broken down by bacteria and other microorganisms into harmless substances when fertilizers are added. The effectiveness of this technique depends on if the beach is sand or pebbles.

21 Bacteria used for cleaning up oil spills

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