VULNERABILITY OF COASTAL ENVIRONMENTS OF LOWER COOK INLET, ALASKA TO OIL SPILL IMPACT
The coastal waters of lower Cook Inlet, Alaska, like many arctic areas, will undergo exploratory petroleum drilling in the near future. In preparation for the increased potential for oil spills, a field study of the coastal morphology and sediments, with emphasis on the behavior of spilled oil, was conducted in June 1976. A total of 1216 km of shoreline was classified into erosional (45%), neutral (38%) and depositional (17%) types, which were further divided into 16 subclasses on the basis of small-scale morphological features. This classification was used in conjunction with a vulnerability index of potential oil spill damage, developed through study of two major oil spills, to predict the longevity of oil in the different coastal environments of the Inlet. On a scale from 1-10, 45% of the shoreline was given low values of 1-4, which means that oil would be dispersed by natural processes within less than six months after a spill on these coasts. Values from 4-6 were assigned to 13.4% of the shoreline, where oil residence time may be up to one year. A 6-10 rating was assigned to 41.5% of the shoreline, where oil contamination may remain for periods of from two to ten years, or possibly more should no major clean-up procedures be initiated. We propose that the use of this type of vulnerability indexing, in conjunction with a biological susceptibility index and oil spill trajectory models, would provide a rational basis for decision making concerning the location of on- and off-shore oil facilities and the design of oil spill contingency plans.
- Proceedings of the 4th International Conference on Port and Ocean Engineering under Arctic Conditions (POAC 77), Newfoundland Memorial University, Canada, September 26-30, 1977.
POAC Conference 77,
- Hayes, M O
- Michel, J
- BROWN, P J
- Publication Date: 1977
- Features: References;
- Pagination: 12 p.
- TRT Terms: Impacts; Mapping; Oil spill cleanup; Oil spills; Probability; Spills (Pollution); Statistical analysis
- Old TRIS Terms: Oil spill behavior; Oil spill contingency plans; Oil spill impact; Oil spill mapping; Spill probability analysis
- Subject Areas: Data and Information Technology; Environment; Marine Transportation;
- Accession Number: 00167687
- Record Type: Publication
- Source Agency: Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada
- Report/Paper Numbers: Proceeding
- Files: TRIS
- Created Date: Jan 13 1978 12:00AM