DBPapers
DOI: 10.5593/sgem2017/31/S15.106

ASSESSMENT OF SEACOASTS SELF-CLEANING CAPACITY IN CASE OF OIL POLLUTION

A.N. Kuznetsov, Y.A. Fedorov, P. Fattal
Monday 11 September 2017 by Libadmin2017

References: 17th International Multidisciplinary Scientific GeoConference SGEM 2017, www.sgem.org, SGEM2017 Conference Proceedings, ISBN 978-619-7408-04-1 / ISSN 1314-2704, 29 June - 5 July, 2017, Vol. 17, Issue 31, 839-846 pp, DOI: 10.5593/sgem2017/31/S15.106

ABSTRACT

The sea coasts and estuaries are especially exposed to the oil pollution harmful influence as they frequently suffer from oil spills relating to the tanker accidents, port and off-shore activities. The objective of the present research is to examine the rates of spilled fuel oil natural destruction on geographically different seacoasts and to assess their self-cleaning capacity. For this purpose, a number of contaminated sectors of the Atlantic coasts of France and Spain (areas of “Erika” and “Prestige” tanker accidents), the Strait of Kerch (“Volgoneft-139” tanker accident) and the Black Sea coast in Russia (area of the oil port of Novorossiysk) were studied. Long-term (from 6 to 15 years) field observations were carried out there. The oiled samples were analyzed with the use of thin layer and column chromatography, optical and gravimetric methods. The results show that in the course of time, the oil slicks demonstrate an exponential diminution in their size, number and in the ratio of labile hydrocarbons content to conservative asphaltic components content. The half-period of this diminution varies from 1 to 8 years, subject to the forms of fuel oil traces and geographical conditions. On the Strait of Kerch coast washed by shallow, slightly salted and highly bio-productive waters of the Sea of Azov the spilled fuel oil tends to disappear twice as rapidly as on French and Spanish coasts of the Atlantic Ocean. The multiple regression analysis of the obtained data enabled the authors to determine the dependence of the self-cleaning rates on the principal geographical factors, to identify the most vulnerable seacoasts to be protected in priority.

Keywords: seacoast, oil spill, oil pollution, self-cleaning capacity, vulnerability