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estimated flow of oil 50,000 barrels per day
The dispersal of the particles does not capture such effects as oil coagulation, formation of tar balls, chemical and microbial degradation. Computed surface concentrations relative to the actual spill may therefore be overestimated. The animation, thus, is not a detailed, specific prediction, but rather a scenario that could help guide research and mitigation efforts.
The “dye” model used by the researchers essentially mimicked the placement of a dye in a global model of ocean currents to see where the dye would go during a period of 90 days.
Among the problems with equating the model to the real world: The “dye” had the density of water, which is far higher than oil, and the model itself includes only large ocean patterns, not smaller wave action.
It also didn't include the factors mentioned above, including natural degradation by bacteria and evaporation.
“These are clearly large uncertainties,” acknowledged Synte Peacock, a principal scientist behind the report.
Peacock said the goal of the project wasn't to scare East Coast residents that oil would imminently be washing up on their beaches. Indeed, she said, it's possible any oil that rounds Florida will remain tens of miles offshore.
Diluted slick possible
It's also unclear what form that oil might take, whether it's tar balls, slicks or much-diluted oil mixed into the water and unnoticeable.
The last (and only) defense against the ongoing Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is tiny—billions of hydrocarbon-chewing microbes, such as Alcanivorax borkumensis. In fact, the primary motive for using the more than 830,000 gallons of chemical dispersants on the oil slick both above and below the surface of the sea is to break the oil into smaller droplets that bacteria can more easily consume.
"If the oil is in very small droplets, microbial degradation is much quicker," says microbial ecologist Kenneth Lee, director of the Center for Offshore Oil, Gas and Energy Research with Fisheries and Oceans Canada, who has been measuring the oil droplets in the Gulf of Mexico to determine the effectiveness of the dispersant use. "The dispersants can also stimulate microbial growth. Bacteria will chew on the dispersants as well as the oil."
Biodegradation: Sea water contains a range of micro-organisms or microbes that can partially or completely degrade oil to water soluble compounds and eventually to carbon dioxide and water. Many types of microbe exist and each tends to degrade a particular group of compounds in crude oil. However, some compounds in oil are very resistant to attack and may not degrade.
The main factors affecting the efficiency of biodegradation, are the levels of nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus) in the water, the temperature and the level of oxygen present. As biodegradation requires oxygen, this process can only take place at the oil-water interface since no oxygen is available within the oil itself. The creation of oil droplets, either by natural or chemical dispersion, increases the surface area of the oil and increases the area available for biodegradation to take place."
Many species of marine micro-organisms or bacteria, fungi and yeasts feed on the compounds that make up oil. Hydrocarbons (oil) consumed by these micro-organisms can be partially metabolized or completely metabolized to carbon dioxide and water. The rate of biodegradation depends on the temperature of the oil and water mixture. (AMSA). ••• A wide range of micro-organisms is required for a significant reduction of the oil. To sustain biodegradation, nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus are sometimes added to the water to encourage the micro-organisms to grow and reproduce. Biodegradation tends to work best in warm water environments. (EPA) ••• The addition of nutrients to speed up the process is also referred to as bioaugmentation, biostimulation, bioremediation, seeding, or fertilization.
Originally posted by Blaine91555
It only took me a few moments to find out that the study this thread is about is fatally flawed and misunderstood.
Plenty of good info out there for all of us, or at least those of us who want it.
Threads here are becoming notoriously devoid of any good research or factual information since all we have posting for the most part is the cut and paste things they don't understand crowd.
Originally posted by Zeta Reticulan
estimated flow of oil 50,000 barrels per day
I agree it'll probably happen before the date given
[edit on 6-7-2010 by Zeta Reticulan]