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Open-File Report 2015–1076

Oil-Particle Interactions and Submergence from Crude Oil Spills in Marine and Freshwater Environments—Review of the Science and Future Science Needs

By Faith A. Fitzpatrick, Michel C. Boufadel, Rex Johnson, Kenneth Lee, Thomas P. Graan, Adriana C. Bejarano, Zhenduo Zhu, David Waterman, Daniel M. Capone, Earl Hayter, Stephen K. Hamilton, Timothy Dekker, Marcelo H. Garcia, and Jacob S. Hassan

Thumbnail of and link to report PDF (1.49 MB)Abstract

Oil-particle interactions and oil submergence are of much interest to oil spill responders and scientists, especially as transportation of light and heavy crude oils increases in North America’s coastal marine and freshwater environments. This report contains an up-to-date review of the state of the science for oil-particle aggregates (OPAs), in terms of their formation and stability which may alter the transport, fate, and toxicity of the residual oil and, hence, its level of ecological risk. Operational considerations—detection, containment, and recovery—are discussed.

Although much is known about oil-particle interactions in coastal marine environments, there remains a need for additional science on methods to detect and quantify the presence of OPAs and to understand their effects on containment and recovery of oil spilled under various temperature regimes and in different aquatic habitats including freshwater environments.

First posted June 24, 2015

For additional information, contact:
Director, Wisconsin Water Science Center
U.S. Geological Survey
8505 Research Way
Middleton, WI 53562–3586

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Suggested citation:

Fitzpatrick, F.A., Boufadel, M.C., Johnson, Rex, Lee, Kenneth, Graan, T.P., and others, 2015, Oil-particle interactions and submergence from crude oil spills in marine and freshwater environments—Review of the science and future science needs: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2015–1076, 33 p.,

ISSN 2331-1258 (online)





Review of the Science

Future Science Needs

Summary and Conclusions

References Cited

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