Effects of chemical dispersants and mineral fines on crude oil dispersion in a wave tank under breaking waves.
Mar Pollut Bull. 2007 Jul;54(7):983-93. Epub 2007 Apr 11. PMID: 17433372
Center for Offshore Oil and Gas Environmental Research, Bedford Institute of Oceanography, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, P.O. Box 1006, Dartmouth, Canada NS B2Y 4A2. email@example.com
The interaction of chemical dispersants and suspended sediments with crude oil influences the fate and transport of oil spills in coastal waters. A wave tank study was conducted to investigate the effects of chemical dispersants and mineral fines on the dispersion of oil and the formation of oil-mineral-aggregates (OMAs) in natural seawater. Results of ultraviolet spectrofluorometry and gas chromatography flame ionized detection analysis indicated that dispersants and mineral fines, alone and in combination, enhanced the dispersion of oil into the water column. Measurements taken with a laser in situ scattering and transmissometer (LISST-100X) showed that the presence of mineral fines increased the total concentration of the suspended particles from 4 to 10microl l(-1), whereas the presence of dispersants decreased the particle size (mass mean diameter) of OMAs from 50 to 10microm. Observation with an epifluorescence microscope indicated that the presence of dispersants, mineral fines, or both in combination significantly increased the number of particles dispersed into the water.