Oil spill really cleaned up?????

Discussion in 'All Things Boats & Boating' started by Paul No Boat, Aug 4, 2010.

  1. John Riddle
    Joined: Aug 2008
    Posts: 34
    Likes: 5, Points: 8, Legacy Rep: 63
    Location: Vermilion, Ohio

    John Riddle Junior Member

    After doing a little math, I can accept the possibility that the Gulf could recover quickly because the amount of spilled oil is minuscule in the big picture. I'm not minimizing the mess it made on shore and don't know what the near or long term effects are going to be to marine life but by sheer dilution, I can accept the idea that the harm could be minimal. Consider this:

    At one point, they said the slick covered some 2500 square miles of the surface. There are over 5.2 trillion gallons of water in just the top 10 feet of that 2500 mile area. Even if every bit of the estimated 4.9 million barrels of oil (205.8 million gallons) was concentrated in that 10' x 2500 sq. mi. section of Gulf, the concentration is equivalent to 1 oz. of oil in 200 gallons of water or less than 26 gallons (<2 beer kegs) of oil in a 660,000 gallon Olympic swimming pool.

    If you put 26 gallons of black oil in the pool, you wouldn't even think of going in the water - mostly because you would be able to see the slick, and the black ring around the edge and the cloud as it dispersed throughout the depth. If the oil was invisible, I suspect you wouldn't think anything of it. Why would I suggest that? Because the same pool has 65 gallons of invisible, highly toxic chlorine in it, but you and your kids jump right in.

    And that's just the concentration at 10' x 2500 sq. miles. When you factor in the actual depth, area, current, dispersant, microbes, dilution, evaporation, skimming, and all the other man-made and natural clean-up that's going on, a recovery doesn't seem so far-fetched to me.
     
    1 person likes this.
  2. troy2000
    Joined: Nov 2009
    Posts: 1,743
    Likes: 170, Points: 63, Legacy Rep: 2078
    Location: California

    troy2000 Senior Member

    That's an interesting comparison, mentioning the chlorine in a swimming pool. It helps put things in perspective.

    Like you, I don't want to minimize the short-term damage the spill has caused--especially to local economies and people's livelihoods. But in the long run, I think it'll damage the Gulf a lot less than the Exxon Valdez incident damaged Alaska.
     
  3. hoytedow
    Joined: Sep 2009
    Posts: 5,704
    Likes: 306, Points: 93, Legacy Rep: 2489

    hoytedow Senior Member

    The problem, as I see it, is the dispersant used. The oil might have done less damage if left on the surface where the skimmers could get at it, rather than having it emulsified into the sea water where it could damage sealife at or near the bottom. What isn't the media telling us about that?
     
  4. troy2000
    Joined: Nov 2009
    Posts: 1,743
    Likes: 170, Points: 63, Legacy Rep: 2078
    Location: California

    troy2000 Senior Member

    You could drive yourself crazy, wondering what you aren't being told. Because the more you focus from that direction, the more likely otherwise unlikely things start sounding..."OMG, they haven't said a word about this. So it must be true!!

    But emulsifying isn't a bad word here. It just means combining two liquids together which normally wouldn't mix easily. As the emulsified oil in mayonnaise doesn't separate out nto the bottom of the jar, so the dispersed oil in the Gulf should stay suspended in the seawater--instead of settling onto the sea bottom.

    Those smaller, suspended droplets also present more surface area to oil-eating microbes. So they should munch through them a lot faster than they would handle tar balls or roil rafts.
     
  5. hoytedow
    Joined: Sep 2009
    Posts: 5,704
    Likes: 306, Points: 93, Legacy Rep: 2489

    hoytedow Senior Member

    Thanks for defining emulsifying to me Troy. I CERTAINLY didn't know the meaning of the word when I used it in a sentence before you defined it. It is OK little corals, as Troy is on the watch and you are all safe from the big mean super globules. Please don't define globule for me, as I already know what it means, but thanks anyway.
     
  6. troy2000
    Joined: Nov 2009
    Posts: 1,743
    Likes: 170, Points: 63, Legacy Rep: 2078
    Location: California

    troy2000 Senior Member

    Oh, stop it. If you know the meaning of 'emulsify,' why were you using the term to express your worries about oil settling on the bottom of the Gulf? Quite obviously. emulsified oil is less likely to to so than untreated oil.
     
  7. hoytedow
    Joined: Sep 2009
    Posts: 5,704
    Likes: 306, Points: 93, Legacy Rep: 2489

    hoytedow Senior Member

    Where in this post did you see the words "settling on the bottom"?
     
  8. troy2000
    Joined: Nov 2009
    Posts: 1,743
    Likes: 170, Points: 63, Legacy Rep: 2078
    Location: California

    troy2000 Senior Member

    Right here:

    Granted, the wording isn't exact. But it's certainly close enough to render your protest meaningless.

    Now if you'll excuse me, I'm headed to bed for some well-deserved rest. Argue with yourself until I get back, if you want to keep the nonsense going...
     
  9. hoytedow
    Joined: Sep 2009
    Posts: 5,704
    Likes: 306, Points: 93, Legacy Rep: 2489

    hoytedow Senior Member

    Balderdash! Hairierdash if you will!

    I simply meant for those capable of understanding that the oil and dispersant could reach all levels in the water column making it unreachable by skimmers and allowing it to impact the corals and associated denizons of the depths.

    I think you and B'Austin can argue with each other for awhile.
     
  10. troy2000
    Joined: Nov 2009
    Posts: 1,743
    Likes: 170, Points: 63, Legacy Rep: 2078
    Location: California

    troy2000 Senior Member

    Don't let the door hit your butt on the way out....
     
  11. hoytedow
    Joined: Sep 2009
    Posts: 5,704
    Likes: 306, Points: 93, Legacy Rep: 2489

    hoytedow Senior Member

    Trisodium phosphate will get them out.
     
  12. tinhorn
    Joined: Jan 2008
    Posts: 575
    Likes: 20, Points: 18, Legacy Rep: 310
    Location: Massachusetts South Shore.

    tinhorn Senior Member

    BP's dilemma is/was damage control. Not to the gulf, but to their 1) image, and 2) earnings. By getting the oil off the surface, the pictures shown on nightly television were less horrific than they'd be if the oil was left on the surface to be skimmed.

    Who cares what damage the million gallons of dispersant might do? Or the emulsified oil that cannot now be retreived? Well, you and me, maybe, but Big Oil owns congressmen--we don't. And there's no income statement line item labeled "Leave the environment as clean and healthy as we found it".
     
  13. troy2000
    Joined: Nov 2009
    Posts: 1,743
    Likes: 170, Points: 63, Legacy Rep: 2078
    Location: California

    troy2000 Senior Member

    Once the spill happened, I think BP would have been damned no matter what they did. They would have been ripped just as hard for not using dispersants, and leaving the oil to float ashore onto beaches and marshlands.

    I doubt the Coast Guard allowed the use of dispersants simply because they were worried about BP's image and earnings.
     
  14. Paul No Boat
    Joined: Dec 2009
    Posts: 99
    Likes: 5, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 149
    Location: Indiana

    Paul No Boat Junior Member

    When I was in college taking environmental economics the professor told us, "The solution to pollution is dilution". Not sure I agree. We should be seeking prevention not remedies.
     

  15. wardd
    Joined: Apr 2009
    Posts: 897
    Likes: 37, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 442
    Location: usa

    wardd Senior Member

    The oil spill was deliberate so they could get rid of all that toxic dispersant cheaply
     
Loading...
Forum posts represent the experience, opinion, and view of individual users. Boat Design Net does not necessarily endorse nor share the view of each individual post.
When making potentially dangerous or financial decisions, always employ and consult appropriate professionals. Your circumstances or experience may be different.