Coastline in-situ burning of oil spills in the Arctic. Studies of the environmental impacts on the littoral zone community

Susse Wegeberg*, Janne Fritt-Rasmussen, Ole Geertz-Hansen, Jozef Wiktor, Lonnie Bogø-Wilms, Morten Birch Larsen, Lars Renvald, Kim Gustavson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

In-situ burning (ISB) has been an oil combat technique studied since the 1950s. However, burning of the oil on the sea surface along the coastline, coastline ISB (cISB), is novel and was tested for the first time in the Arctic along a rocky coast in the summer 2017. A light crude oil was burned and effects of the cISB operation on the littoral zone communities investigated. The impact on macroalgal vegetation and associated fauna was analysed in three littoral zone levels. The analyses revealed limited effects on the littoral community, and that variation between sample plots and years in macroalgal biomass and coverage, as well as fauna biomass and abundance was higher than the impact from cISB. Therefore, it is concluded that cISB in the Arctic along a rocky shore may be an oil spill response option with relatively low environmental side effects for the specific oil type used.

Original languageEnglish
Article number113128
JournalMarine Pollution Bulletin
Volume173
IssuePart B
ISSN0025-326X
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021

Keywords

  • Arctic
  • Coastline in-situ burning
  • Environmental effects
  • Littoral zone
  • Oil spill response
  • Tidal community

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