Most of the present data on oil pollution in ice-covered waters has been obtained from spills in static ice conditions. Thus, the Buzzards Bay spill, which occurred in moving ice, was of particular interest. Initially, the strong tidal currents transported most of the oil leaking from the barge into the broken ice field and beneath the large ice floes. The oil then collected in the crack systems of the rafted ice, hummocks, pressure ridges, and leads, and occupied an area of about 0.1 sq km. Oil pools formed by the rafted ice contained up to 2,000 gal of pure oil. No. 2 oil that was incorporated in hummocks and ridges was not as concentrated. Some oil in concentrated areas spread onto the ice floe surface primarily by wind forces. The No. 21 oil weathered at different rates, ranging from 6 to 47 percent volume loss, depending upon the degree of oil exposed to the air. On February 5, 0.1 m of snow fell at Buzzards Bay covering most of the oil from view; oil in concentrated pools formed a slush-like mixture containing 30 percent oil by volume. This snow greatly hindered aerial surveillance, research efforts, and cleanup attempts. Several cleanup techniques were used; the most successful was direct suction from concentrated pools into vacuum trucks accounting for nearly 13,000 gal of recovered oil. The ice began to break up around February 8, releasing the oil contained in the ice in the form of a thin sheen. In addition, oily ice floes were transported by the currents through Cape Cod Canal into Cape Cod Bay, where they melted. These processes continued until about February 26, 1977, when Buzzards Bay was essentially free of visible oil.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Presented at the 10th Annual OTC in Houston, Texas, May 8-11, 1978.
  • Corporate Authors:

    Offshore Technology Conference

    6200 North Central Expressway
    Dallas, TX  United States  45206
  • Authors:
    • Deslauriers, P C
    • Martin, S
  • Publication Date: 1978

Media Info

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00178164
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Offshore Technology Conference
  • Report/Paper Numbers: OTC 3079, Vol 1 Proceeding
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jul 19 1978 12:00AM