Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Oil from Gulf Spill Already Buried Under Clean Beach Sand

As teams of workers struggle to try to do something - anything - to prevent oil from contaminating the once pristine beaches of the Gulf, they are starting to realize that there may not be too much for them to do. The oil that washes ashore is often buried under new sand as the waves and tides continually push forward and pull back. This natural action will eventually make the beaches appear somewhat clean rather quickly after the flow of oil is stopped.

The problem is that there will still be large amounts of oil present, they will just be located below the surface of the sand. This natural progression is going to present difficult problems for those in charge of cleaning up the spill. Oil and remnants of oil are also a natural occurrence in the sand of many beaches, especially those of America's coastal waters.

The water and the sand eventually break the oil down and it will no longer pose an immediate health threat to humans. It's impact on the ecosystem will certainly be far greater, though, as the tiny animals and plants that inhabit the depths of the sands will be harmed and killed.

As hurricane season begins to heat up, this phenomenon of increased wave action and more churning of the sand may actually prove beneficial in the long term. It will certainly not eliminate the impact of the oil spill, but it may make things seem to appear better than they actually are in a shorter period of time. The question will remain, however, as to exactly how deep to dig when looking for evidence of the oil spill and exactly how clean people are going to require their beaches to be.

BP Sells Four Gulf Oil and Gas Fields to Help Pay for Spill Damage