URQUIOLA OIL SPILL, LA CORUNA, SPAIN: IMPACT AND REACTION ON BEACHES AND ROCKY COASTS

The supertanker Urquiola grounded, exploded, and burned at the entrance to La Coruna harbor on May 12, 1976. A total of 100,000 tons of Persian Gulf crude oil was lost, of which about 30,000 tons washed onto shoreline environments. From May 17 to June 10, 1976, the impact and interaction of oil on fine-sand, coarse-sand, and gravel beaches and on sheltered and exposed rocky coasts was monitored in detail. At 32 localities, the beach was profiled, trenched, extensively sampled, and photographed. Another 67 stations were examined for surficial oil coverage and distribution. The surficial distribution of oil on beaches was influenced primarily by wave activity, tidal stage, and oil quantity. Heaviest accumulations formed along the high-tide swash line. Within beach sediments, oil was present at distinct oiled sediment layers, which were often deeply buried. The depth of burial was related to wave energy and sediment type. On rocky shores, oil distribution was determined primarily by wave energy. Along high-energy, cliffed, or steeply dipping rocky areas, wave reflection kept the oil approximately 5 m offshore and contamination was minimal. In low-energy, sheltered areas, oil readily accumulated, causing apparent environmental damage.

  • Corporate Authors:

    Springer Verlag

    175 5th Avenue
    New York, NY  USA  10010
  • Authors:
    • Gundlach, E R
    • Ruby, C H
    • Hayes, M O
    • Blount, A E
  • Publication Date: 1978

Media Info

  • Features: References;
  • Pagination: p. 131-143
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00194847
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Engineering Index
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jun 30 1979 12:00AM