This paper discusses conclusions based on field observations which were carried out for a period of 20 months on the seashores of Chedabucto Bay, following the spillage of 108,000 barrels of Bunker C oil in the bay by the tanker ARROW in February 1970. The main factors that control the natural cleaning of seashores include the physico-chemical characteristics of the oil, nature of polluted seashores, the hydrodyanmics of the environment (to primarily include wave action) and the climatic conditions prevailing when oil reached the seashore. Based on observations, the author discusses three main points which should be taken into consideration in the eventuality of a major oil spill threatening a seashore. These are that (1) all efforts should be concentrated to prevent oil from entering inlets even if such areas do not seem as important as the exposed beaches used for recreation since natural cleaning becomes less effective in sheltered areas; (2) natural cleaning of the beaches can be effected without the use of detergents that would possibly jeopardized the biological equilibrium of the environment, as evidenced in the Chedabucto Bay case; and (3) salvage operations or any type of operation involving a risk of oil spillage should be attempted only in calm weather and during periods of neap tides. In as much as it takes more wave energy to clean a beach than to pollute it, wave climatology becomes an important point to consider when assessments are to be made of the rate of natural cleaning.

Media Info

  • Features: References;
  • Pagination: p. 2557-75
  • Serial:
    • Volume: 3

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00057136
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Texas A&M University, College Station
  • Report/Paper Numbers: Proceeding
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Aug 16 1974 12:00AM