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Scientists Impose A Threat Due To Oil Spill In Gulf Of Mexico

First Posted: Nov 22, 2016 03:30 AM EST
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The Earth is composed of different minerals and substances that create balance in the ecosystem. One of the major components that Earth has is the reserves of oil and gas trapped beneath its surface. Sometimes, these minerals cause cracks and some of these are seeped out. However, this phenomenon is inevitable. Though it happens rarely, it does not create any major devastation on the planet's surface.

On the contrary, the root of the problem is due to the human activities that cause major wreckage in marine biodiversity. These activities include the liquid petroleum released into the environment by a vessel or pipeline. It occurs due to human negligence and carelessness.

According to Rinkesh on his article of Conserve Energy, the sources of the oil spill are numerous. Some of these are through the release of the crude oil by tankers on land and in water bodies as it happens due to drilling rigs, offshore oil platforms and well.

Moreover, Chelsea Harvey states on her article on The Washington Post that six years after there was deepwater oil spill that occurred and devastated the shore of the Gulf of Mexico, still scientists are assessing the destruction it caused. The scientists increasingly reporting the widespread shoreline erosion and loss of wetlands, which brings harm in salt marsh ecosystem and coastal areas that leads also to a vulnerable sea-level rise.

Last Thursday a new study has been published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters that reports an extensive shoreline recession in the Mississippi River Delta caused by oil spill. According to Elijah Ramsey III, a researcher oceanographer at the U.S. Geological Survey, states that "Erosion is occurring [even] without the oil spill for lots of different reasons throughout the delta."

According to offshore technology.com, a widespread shoreline loss has been revealed by NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey maps of the Louisiana marshlands where the coastline was heavily coated with oil during BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. It was precisely measured after the spill that the length of the shoreline receded in quadruple compared from 13 feet a year before the spill.

The research team found out that the pattern from the first year after the spill in 2010 to 2011 has changed dramatically and caused widespread erosion to the entire bay. The erosion occurred only along the shorelines with heavy to moderate oil coating.

After two years (2011 to 2012), dramatic changes happened wherein higher loss rates extended to the areas that had less oil coating that kills vegetation, leading to loss of the roots that support the soil together.

In August 2012, Hurricane Isaac hit on the Barataria Bay, two months after the two-year post spill period. And in four months after the wreckage of the hurricane, erosion rates have been measured, and surprisingly, these were higher than those previous erosion measurements.

"Our study uniquely shows the patterns of shoreline recession seen in Barataria Bay are directly relatable to distinctly different causes," said by Elijah Ramsey III, a USGS geophysicist and lead author of the paper Amina Rangoonwala. "There was broadly dispersed erosion due to oiling from the Deepwater Horizon spill and more severe, but localized, erosion from Hurican Isaac," Ramsey added.

One and all must understand that this kind of phenomenon and its effects are yet to be fully observed. It is not only a threat to the marine ecosystem but also a major risk that the civilization is facing in the near future.

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