Predicting Fate and Effects of Hydrocarbons in the Oceans

by Richard A. Geyer, Texas A&M Univ, College Station, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Civil Engineering in the Oceans V


Three major sources of hydrocarbons exist in the oceans. One is from oil spills related to the production and transportation of hydrocarbons. The second, while generally not spectacular, is a much larger and a continuous source, namely, naturally occurring oil and gas seeps. Their occurrence and monitoring are discussed as well as their fate and effects to the environment. The third results from acts of war. The role of short term versus long term ecological effects from these sources are discussed. A broad spectrum of methods are presented that are used to obtain information including hydrocarbon chemical surveys, seismic surveys, submersibles and satellites. A number of major but highly generalized databases are available. These are reviewed as a means of providing information to solve the diversified research problems required. But it is estimated that at least one million items are available. This requires the preparation of highly specialized but more manageable databases. Their availability would permit developing of a much needed information in a much more manageable form.

Subject Headings: Hazardous materials spills | Non-renewable energy | Hydrocarbons | Databases | Water pollution | Seismic surveys | Seas and oceans

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