The supertanker Metula ran aground on satellite patch shoals just inside the First Narrows of the Strait of Magellan on August 9, 1974. On the 2nd day after the grounding, the supertanker swung to starboard and holed and flooded its engine room compartments. The initial oil spill was reported to be 6,000 T. Subsequent spills continued, with the largest being 20,000 T on or about August 19, 1974 until the total reported spill quantity of 51,500 T of crude oil and about 2,000 T of Bunker C fuel oil was reached. The oil from the Metula spill is disappearing at varying rates at different locations on Tierra del Fuego. The exposed coastline is hiding or dissipating the oil into the sea by wave turbulence, blowing sand, and deeper penetration into the beach. Beach detritus such as oiled kelp and kelp holdfasts, lumber, and trash will probably be the longest lived evidence of the spill. The magnitude of the spill coupled with the absence of any cleanup activity has made it serve a valuable role as a test system for observing recovery from a major oil spill in a cool climate.

Media Info

  • Features: References;
  • Pagination: p. 465-468

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00177249
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Pollution Abstracts
  • Report/Paper Numbers: Publication 4284
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jun 28 1978 12:00AM