In brief: Oil Spills
- Oil Spill is basically leakage of crude oil and its products in the environment.
- While oil spills are catastrophic when they occur in water, they can severely affect the environment when they occur on land too.
- In water, the major oil spills occur due to accidents, release of crude oil from tankers, refuse of waste oil offshore, drilling rigs etc
- Land-based oil spills occur due to leakage in tankers, vehicles etc.
Major Oil spills
- Recent events of major oil spills include
- Deepwater Horizon oil spill in Gulf of Mexico. (2010)
- Exon Valdez oil spill in Alaska (1989)
- Gulf war oil spill in Kuwait (1991)
- 2014 Sundarbans oil spill in Shela River in Bangladesh Sundarbans.
- 2017 Ennore oil spill in Kamarajar Port near Chennai.
- Oil spills have caused severe mortality among seabirds.
- The feathers of the seabird is significantly affects by oil thereby reducing their insulating ability and less buoyant in the water.
- Oil during oil spills is consumed by planktons and bio-accumulate the entire marine food chain including fish, crabs and other aquatic animals.
- Other marine mammals exposed to oil spill get severely affected in terms of insulating property.
- Land-based oil spill cause soil and water pollution
- Sunderban oil spill have severely affected the mangrove forests.
- Bioremediation is the use of microorganisms to metabolize and remove oil during oil spills.
- The bacteria used for bio-remediation could include sulfate-reducing bacteria, acid-producing anaerobic bacteria etc.
Section : Environment & Ecology