Record Display for the EPA National Library Catalog


Main Title Processes Affecting the Fate of Oil in the Sea.
Author Lee, Richard F. ;
CORP Author Rhode Island Univ., Kingston. Graduate School of Oceanography.;Environmental Research Lab., Narragansett, RI.
Year Published 1980
Report Number EPA-R-807795; EPA-600/J-80-385 ; ERLN-X27
Stock Number PB82-181892
Additional Subjects Water pollution ; Petroleum products ; Sea ; Sediments ; Photochemistry ; Oxidation ; Emulsification ; Adsorption ; Degradation ; Reprints ; Path of pollutants ; Oil spills
Library Call Number Additional Info Location Last
NTIS  PB82-181892 Some EPA libraries have a fiche copy filed under the call number shown. 07/26/2022
Collation 15p
Using research results reported from oil spills, laboratory experiments and microcosm studies, this review outlines the many processes controlling the behavior of petroleum in marine waters. The fate of oil spilled at sea depends on the composition of the oil, and on such external factors as light and temperature. The extent of degradation depends on the type of coastal areas in which the spill occurs. In open, exposed areas, with good circulation of water, most oils are quickly degraded (Rashid, 1974). In protected shallow areas with poor-circulation spilled oil is incorporated into the fine sediment and much remains unaltered for many years (Blumer and Sass, 1972). Photochemical oxidation, dissolution, emulsification, adsorption to particles, biodegradation and uptake by zooplankton interact to affect the fate of oil slicks and oil in the water. Sedimentation deposits oil on the bottom where it can be resuspended into the water, penetrate deeper into the sediment or be degraded. The sediment community of microbes, meiofauna and macrofauna is responsible for the degradation of sediment oil.