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Environmental Engineering Research 2004;9(1): 23-30. DOI: https://doi.org/10.4491/eer.2004.9.1.023
PENETRATION OF DISPERSED AND WEATHERED OIL AND ITS ECOLOGICAL IMPLICATION IN MODEL SANDY BEACH
Cheong-Jo Cheong
Department of Environmental Engineering, Sunchon National University
Corresponding Author: Cheong-Jo Cheong ,Tel: +82-63-531-6631, Fax: +82-63-531-6631, Email: cheongcj@hanmail.net
Received: August 14, 2003;  Accepted: February 9, 2004.
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ABSTRACT
Internal flow within tidal flat is closely associated with biological activities in this area. Seawater is a kind of transport medium for dissolved matters and particulate matters, which are necessary for survival of benthic organisms in coastal zone. Therefore, determination of the internal flow rate by wave and tidal actions is important for understanding its ecological role. Various anthropogenic pollutants are threatening the coastal ecosystem. One of significant anthropogenic pollution is oil pollution. Huge oil spill by tanker accidents induce seriously damage to ocean and coastal environment. The purpose of this study is to clear the effects of wave and/or tidal action on penetration of weathered oil and dispersed oil and to evaluate the effects of penetrated oil on seawater infiltration into the sandy beach sediments. A sandy beach simulator was used, which composed of model sandy beach, wave maker, tide control device, temperature control system and computer controlling system. The dispersed oil was penetrated into the sediments by wave action, not by tidal fluctuation. On the contrary, the crude oil and weathered oil was penetrated by tidal fluctuation not by wave action. The first tide is the most important for the penetration of both weathered oil and dispersed oil, and oil concentrations were highest within the upper 2 cm. When oil of 1 L/m2 was penetrated, the infiltration volume of seawater was decreased to approximately 1/2 by crude oil and 1/5 by weathered oil, not affected by dispersed oil. These results indicate that the crude oil and weathered oil have bad effects on benthic organism due to the reduction in the supply of oxygen, nutrient and organic matters in the sandy beach.
Keywords: Model sandy beach | Weathered oil | Dispersed oil | Seawater infiltration
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