With the 1969 discovery of large reserves of oil on the Alaskan North Slope, a comprehensive Coast Guard research program was initiated to determine the fate and behavior of crude oil discharges in an arctic environment. Arctic field tests were conducted off Barrow, Alaska, in June 1970, and at Port Clarence, Alaska, in January 1972, in an attempt to quantize oil spreading on and under ice, oil aging on ice, unique interaction characteristics between snow and oil, and the effectiveness of existing oil recovery techniques and treating agents. A brief description of the test site and equipment is presented. A simplified theory developed in an attempt to describe theoretically the spreading of oil on snow and ice is discussed. The field tests examined such effects as temperature, wind, and oil and oil and ice interaction, as well as the effectiveness of such cleanup techniques as surface active agents, and burning agents. The author's conclusion, based on these field tests, include that the spreading of oil over ice and snow is dominated by gravity and inertial forces, that adsorption of oil into the snow or ice surface is minimal, and that the aging rate of oil on ice is decreased when compared with temperature climate aging. A significant conclusion is that artificial cleanup agents such as sorbents, dispersants, surface active agents, and burning agents are of little or no practical use in extreme cold temperature conditions as found in the Arctic Winter. Recommendations for oil clean-up techniques appropriate for the arctic environment are included.

Media Info

  • Features: References;
  • Pagination: p. 233-248
  • Serial:
    • Volume: 1

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00054067
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: National Maritime Research Center, Galveston
  • Report/Paper Numbers: OTC #1747
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: May 7 1974 12:00AM