Study Yields Insight into Early Aftermath of Oil Spills

August 10, 2014 2:15 AM

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The fate of oil during the first day after an accidental oil spill is still poorly understood, with researchers often arriving on the scene only after several days. New findings, from a field experiment carried out in the North Sea, provide valuable insight that could help shape the emergency response in the immediate wake of disasters.

It is well known that oil and water don’t mix. Less well known is the fact that when petroleum is spilt onto a water surface, a fraction of the oil immediately begins to evaporate into the air or dissolve into the seawater. These dissolved toxic hydrocarbons can threaten aquatic species, while evapo...

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