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4 Fates INTRODUCTI ON Petroleum introduced to the marine environment goes through a variety of physical, chemical, and biological transformations during its transport by the advective and spreading processes discussed below. This section identifies the major factors controlling each of these processes, reviews the relevant experimental and field evidence for quantitative evaluation of the effect of these various processes on petroleum, and estimates the amount of petroleum hydrocarbons in the marine environment at the present time. Although much of the subsequent discussion deals with the fate of oil spills, this source of oil in the marine environment only accounts for about 15% of the annual input, with chronic discharges being of much greater significance (see Chapter 2, Table 2-22~. The latter are subject to essentially the same kinds of fates but are sometimes more difficult to study owing to the dispersed nature of the inputs and lower concentrations of petroleum compared to oil spills. Advection and spreading begin immediately after introduction of petroleum to the ocean and cause a rapid increase in the exposure area of the oil to subsequent "weathering" processes. These include evaporation, dissolution, vertical dispersion, emulsification, and sedimentation. Involved in all of these processes are chemical factors determined by the specific composition of the petroleum in question. Additionally, photochemical oxidation of some of the components of petroleum can be induced by sunlight. Dark or autooxidation may also occur. The products of these processes include hydrocarbon fractions and reaction products introduced to the atmosphere, slicks and tar lumps on the surface of the ocean, dissolved and particulate hydrocarbon materials in the water column, and similar components in the sediments. While physical and chemical processes are occurring, biological processes also act on the different fractions of the or iginal petroleum in various ways. The biological processes considered include degr adation of petroleum by microorganisms to carbon dioxide or organic components in intermediate oxidation stages, uptake by larger organisms and subsequent metabol ism, storage, or discharge. 270

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271 Wl ND _ ~ Bulk Surface l Discharge SEA SU RFACE ~/ Atmospheric Oxidation (Photo-Oxidation ) Advection Water-in-Oil Emulsions _ Tar Balls _ Spreading ~Sea Surface Oil Slick l_Spreading-| "Chocolate Mousse" ~ 7 7 In ~ / / Globular / / Dispersion I Water ! Emulsion Solubilizing / Chemical / Transformations /( | Chemical L OCR for page 270
272 Density Density of spilled oil increases as evaporation removes the lighter constituents, but only rarely does the density reach that of seawater. This effect is partially balanced by a density decrease with increasing temperature. The effective density of a slick tends to increase due to weathering, but more significant increases are attributable to (~) the uptake of water by many oils to form emulsions (~moussen), which have higher densities (approaching that of seawater), and (2) association with suspended minerals or organic matter. Oxidation also may cause a density increase, but the products may be quite water soluble and will thus migrate out of the oil. Density plays an obviously important role in the fate of spilled oil, for the density difference between oil and water determines the extent to which the slick is submerged and the residence time of oil droplets which may be propelled downward in the water column by breaking waves. Following the Kurdistan spill there were anecdotal but unsub- stantiated accounts of submerged or neutrally buoyant oil (Vandermeulen, 1981~. It is generally accepted that the density of most weathered oils does not become great enough for neutral buoyancy to occur and result in significant amounts of particles and pancakes in suspended equilibrium in the water column. Viscosity and Pour Point Spill viscosity (resistance to flow) increases with weathering and decreases with increasing temperature. This is important, as it controls the rate of spreading in the gravity-viscous regime. A related property is pour point temperature for oils which is often invoked as an Equivalent to melting point" for organic chemicals. Phenomena associated with the rapid increase in viscosity as the pour point is approached are not well understood. Probably more important is the effect of emulsified water on the bulk viscosity of emulsions. Oils usually have non-Newtonian theologies (flow) characteristics; thus a viscosity measurement is meaningful only in the context of a particular Theological model if the shear conditions are defined. It is appropriate to measure and record low shear rate viscosities using, for example, an Ostwald viscometer. Vapor Pressure Vapor pressure controls evaporation rate and air concentrations of hydrocarbons and, therefore, the fire hazard in the vicinity of spills. Vapor pressures can be estimated using Raoult's law (vapor pressure of a solution equals the product of the vapor pressure of the solvent and the mole fraction of the solvent) if the composition of the mixture is known--which is usually not the case. The use of pseudo-components or analytical expressions for vapor pressure is discussed in the Evaporation section below.

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273 TABLE 4-1 Henry 's Law Constants for Selected Hydrocarbonsa Molecular Vapor or Aqueous Henry 's Law Weight Partial Pressure Solvability Constant Compound (at 25C) (g/mol) (atm) (g/m3) (atm m3/mol ) Methane 16 1.0 24 .1 0 .67 e-Butane 58 1.0 61.4 0.95 n-Hexane 86 0 .2 9.5 1. 81 e-Octane 114 0.019 0.66 3.28 n-Decane 148 0.0017 0.052 4. 83 Cyclohexane 84 0.13 55 0.19 1-Hexane 84 0.24 50 0.41 Benzene 78 0.13 1780 0.0055 Toluene 92 0.038 515 0.0067 o-Xylene 106 0.0087 175 0.0052 Naphthalene 128 0.00011 34 0.00043 Biphenyl 154 0 .000013 7 .5 0 .0002 7 aFor gaseous solutes the solohil ity is at 1.0 atm pressure. SOURCE: Af ter McKay, 1981. Aqueous Solub il ity Henry's law, CP=HC, where p is pressure in atmospheres, C is concentra- tion in solution, and H is Henry' s law constant, can be invoked, although some er ror may be introduced because there is ev idence that mixtures are more soluble than is expected from a direct mole fraction dependence (Leionen et al., 1971), a phenomenon that is at least partially due to the presence of dissolved natural humic-like matter in seawater (Boehm and Quinn, 19731. Henry's law constants for selected hydrocarbons in distilled water are given in Table 4-1. The solubilities of hydrocarbons in seawater are generally some 60-809s of the distilled vrater values owing to the "salting out" effect. ThiS can be character ized by the Setchenow equation (Aquan-Yuen et al ., 1979 ~ . Processes Advection and Spreading Transport of oil spilled onto the sea surface is due to two processes: advection and spreading. Advection is due to the influence of over- lying winds and/or underlying currents. ThiS process may be subdivided further depending on the causes of motion. For example, there may be advection by Stokes drift, Ekman currents, Langmoir circulation, geostrophic currents, or even turbulent flow. Descriptions and mathematical treatments of these various advection processes can be found in texts on general and physical oceanography. The other transport process is spreading, a phenomenon resulting from a dynamic equilibrium between the forces of gravity, inertia, frict ion, v iscosity, and surface tension.

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274 1cm 1mm 1 00,um 1 OlJm 1pm J 0.11Jm 0.01pm l DDULL BROWN 6 ~NIFIC ANT 4~ SURFACE CONCENTRATIONS ~ DARKER BROWNS TO BLACK IRIDESCENCE - SILVERY SHEEN /OLORLESS SLICK CAPILLARY WAVES DAMPED / MONOMOLECULAR LAYER I I I ~ I I I 10 102 103 104 10S 106 107 SURFACE CONCENTRATION OF SPILL tLITERS PER SQUARE KILOMETER) FIGURE 4-2 Sur face concentration of spill . SOURCE: Barger et al . ( 1974 ~ . Oil on the sea surface manifests itself as slicks of var table thickness. An approximate classif ication of these slicks is "thin" slicks, less than 10 um thick, to "thick" slicks, often millimeters or even centimeters thick. Generally, the area of thin slick exceeds that of the thick, but most of the oil volume usually resides in the thick slick. Figure 4-2 is a labeled plot of thickness versus surface concentr at ion . Observations of water may show f irst the evidence of oil by damping of capillary waves: the sur face becomes less ~ rough ~ and more "glassy," but no oil is visible. As the slick thickens to 1 Em, light interference effects become apparent, often giving irridescent colors. Further increase in thickness to approximately 10 Em gives darker films. The behavior of thin films is dominated by surface tension (or interracial energy) effects; spreading is promoted when the sum of the oil-water and oil-air infer facial tensions is less than that of the water-air infer facial tension. Behavior in this regime is complicated by the presence of natural organic surface layers on the ocean surface, especial ly in quiescent and biologically productive areas. Although

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275 these infer facial tensions can be measured, reliable deduction of behavior is not possible because (1 ) as the oil spreads it evaporates and dissolves, and the infer facial tension changes; (2) oxidation (probably photolytic in or igin) alters the composition of the oil, especially by forming oxygenated compounds with low inter facial tensions; (3 ~ as hydrocarbons dissolve in water they alter the water-air infer facial tension; and (4 ~ spreading induces a change in composition of the o il by select ive d issolut ion and evapor at ion of cer ta in components . Under relatively quiescent conditions, slicks of thickness greater than 10 Am tend to be surrounded by thin slicks; thus, they do not experience a surface tension force to induce spreading. Accordingly, the thick slicks tend to spread more slowly, at a rate controlled by a balance of hydrostatic, viscous, and inertial forces. This fluid flow process can be described mathematically if certain simplifying assump- tions are made. However, the results probably will not have general utility because (1) solutions are very complex; (2) the rheology (flow) of the oil is often complex, i.e., the viscosity is not constant; (3) wave action stretches and compresses the oil slick; (4) water-in-oil emulsions may form; (5) usually the slick is wind driven relative to the water ; (6) the presence of natural surface convergences or diver- gences will cause the oil slick to separate or accumulate; (7) oil composition (as distinct from viscosity or sur face properties) appear s to influence spreading (Fazal and Milgram, 1979~; and (8) the entire spreading process is likely to be profoundly influenced by sea state, especially under rough conditions in which oil may be carr fed by spray. In recent years there have been many attempts to model the fate of oil spills. For example, more than 35 different models are described in a comprehensive repor t by Huang and Monastero (1982~. Because advective processes are the principal controls for the fate of a spill, they are the most frequently modeled. The general consensus of modeling experts is that there is no one universal model that will generally yield predictions that are real istic or undistorted . The modell ing of the many d isper sed smaller sl icks is a ma jor unsolved problem. Wind causes surface water dr if t at a velocity of a few percent of the wind speed . Oil behaves s imilar ly, the consensus be ing that the drift velocity is 3-4% of the wind speed. G.L. Smith (1977) has treated this in some detail, err iving at a dr if t factor of 3 .64 ~ O . 51% . An important observation is that the dr if t factor of the thick slick exceeds that of the thin; thus, the thicker region tends to accumulate at the leading edge of the sl ick, with the th inner reg ion trail ing . Calculation of dr if t is essential in oil spill tra jectory models, but is compl icated by (1 ) the possible influence of Cor iol is forces on the slick (tending to cause diversion to the "right" in the northern hemisphere and "left" in the southern hemisphere), (2 ~ by residual and tidal ocean currents which provide an additional vector, (3) by Stokes surface drift associated with gravity waves (Lange and Hufner fuss, 1978), and (4) the reduction by floating oil of wind stress transmitted to the sea.

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276 Comparison of computed and actual trajectories of slicks such as those from the Argo Merchant, Ixtoc blowout, Kurdistan, or Amoco Cadiz suggests that the major sources of uncertainties are (1) lack of reli- able data on wind speed and direction (due to distance from weather stations) and (2) lack of detailed ocean surface current data. Evaporation Evaporation, which may be responsible for the loss of from one- to two-thirds of an oil spill mass in a per lad of a few hour s or a day (Jordan and Payne, 1980), causes considerable changes in chemical com- position and physical properties of the oil. Calculation of evapo- ration rates is cliff icult because the rate depends on a number of factors, all of which may change with time. Observations of evapora- tion rate and attempts to predict that rate have been reported by Kreider (1971), McAuliffe (1977), Mackay et al. (1980b), Butler (1976), and Harrison et al. (1975) and are generally reviewed by Jordan and Payne (1980~. The rate of evaporative loss from a given volume of oil depends on (1) the area exposed, which tends to increase continuously as the slick spreads; (2) the oil phase component vapor pressures, which are a function of oil temperature and composition, and which fall as the lighter components are depleted from the slick; (3) the oil-air mass transfer coeff icient, which depends primarily on the wind speed but also on the hydrocarbon vapor diffusivity; and (4) the possible presence of diffusive barriers such as a water-in-oil emulsion or a "skin" on the oil surface. Thus the "half-lives. for the various hydrocarbon components in the slick cannot be determined, although approximate values can be suggested for defined conditions. The rate of evaporation from a thick, cold slick under calm conditions may be orders of magnitude slower than from a thin, warm slick under stormy conditions. There are two general approaches to calculating evaporation rates. First is a pseudocomponent approach in which the oil is postulated to consist of a number of components or pseudocomponents of defined volatility and with proportions selected to give a mixture with volatil- ity characteristics similar to that of the oil. As evaporation pro- ceeds, the change in oil composition is computed and the falling vapor pressure is calculated from Raoult's law at the desired temperature. This approach has been used by Mackay and Leionen (1975), Yang and Wang (1977), and Mackay and Paterson (19811. The second approach is to postulate an analytical expression for the amount evaporated as a function of time and composition as attempted by Butler (1976) and Mackay et al. (1980b). In the latter case, a method was proposed by which oil distillation data could be used to predict vapor pressures and, hence, evaporation rates. Evaporation rates and composition changes can be measured by simple pan evaporation experiments, either outdoors or in wind tunnels, with an attempt to extrapolate the results to oceanic conditions. There remains a need to improve the prediction of oil evaporation rates and

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277 to characterize oil volatility characteristics more accurately by means of information obtained from pan evaporation experiments, distillation temperature data, and evaporation by a controlled air flow bubbled through the oil. Such information probably can be used to estimate the oil fractions evaporated under various defined conditions and to calcu- late the fractional retention of specific hydrocarbons at various times. Such a capability would be invaluable as a means of calculating changes in dens ity or v iscos ity, assess ing changing toxicity, and improving identif ication of slick samples for legal purposes. Although parts of this overall capability are in place, a comprehensive treatment is s til 1 lack ing . Hydrocarbons may evaporate from true solution in sur face water quite rapidly--often with half-lives of an hour or less. This is illustrated by the analytical data reported for samples collected under dispersed oil slicks in which there was evidence of substantial removal of vola- tiles from the water column (McAulif fe et al ., 1980 ~ . In the case of high-molecular-weight hydrocarbons of low Volubility, most may be in colloidal or accommodated form and are not immediately available for evaporation. This topic has been reviewed recently by Mackay et al. (1981a), using calculations based on previous work by Mackay and Leionen (1975) and L'ss and Slater (1974~. Dissolution Dissolved hydrocarbon concentrations in water are particularly important because of their potentiality for exerting a toxic effect on biological systems. They are less important from the viewpoint of the mass lost by the spill, for dissolution of even a few percent of the spill is unlikely. Dissolution is bet ieved to be directly from the slick to the water column and from dispersed oil drops to the water column. In analyzing spill behavior a prediction of dissolution rate is unnecessary because the mass dissolved is negligible compared with that removed by droplet entrainment and can be subsumed in the dispersion rate expression. The extent of dissolution is obviously influenced by the oil's aqueous Volubility which, for a crude oil, is typically 30 mg/L. Most of the dissolved hydrocarbons are the more soluble low molecular weight aromatics such as benzene, toluene, and the xylenes. As the oil evapo- rates, these hydrocarbons are removed; thus the oil Volubility drops and the dissolution rate falls to a negligible value. Some illustrative Volubility data for fresh and weathered crude oils are given by Mackay and Shiu (1975~. Calculations of the rate of dissolution are imprecise, and only Cohen et al. (1980) and Butler (1976) have attempted to make estimates. The most soluble hydrocarbons, which are also the most volatile, are likely to be preferentially removed by evaporation, which is typically orders of magnitude faster. Even when hydrocarbons do dissolve, many are likely to be removed by subsequent evaporation from the water , provided they have sufficient volatility.

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278 It should be reemphasized that in the subsequent chapter on Effects the simplest aromatic compounds are shown to be among the most toxic compounds of crude and refined oil, and as they are also the most soluble, their impact on the marine environment is greater than simple mass balance considerations would imply. Dispersion/Vertical Tr anspor t The lifetime of an oil slick on an ocean surface is often controlled by the dispersion or vertical transport of small particles of oil or oil-in-water emulsions into the water column (}lackey et al., 1980a). This 1 if etime usually determines whether a given sl ick is 1 ikely to impact on a particular shoreline that may be, for example, several days drift time from the site of the spill. Dispersion also results in exposure of subsurface marine organisms to particulate and dissolved oil. These organisms, in turn, may mediate the sedimentation of some of the oil through incorporation into fecal pellets. The nature of the fluid mechanics of the event resulting in natural vertical dispersion is not well understood and is undoubtedly complex. Breaking or surface turbulence waves probably cause the oil to be driven into the water column, thus forming a swarm of oil droplets. The larger particles probably rise and coalesce with the slick, while the smaller oil droplets are conveyed with water eddies vertically downward to become permanently incorporated into the water column. These smaller droplets, which do not r ise to the surface, and their associated water medium may be classified as an oil-in-water emulsion. This emulsion formation is only a part of the overall dispersion process . Expressions for natural dispersion rates have been assembled by Mackay et al. ~1980a), Spaulding et al. ~1978), Carver and Williams (1978), and Aravamudan et al. (19811. The simplest approach for includ- ing dispersion in an oil spill model is that used in the SLICKTRAC model by Blaikley et al. (1978), who tabulated estimated vertical dispersion rates expressed as a percentage of the oil per day as a function of sea state and duration of the spill. This tabulation is undoubtedly an oversimplification of a complex phenomenon. A similar approach has been used by Audunson et al. (1980~. Experimental wind-wave tank measurements and a mathematical treatment of this process have been made by Mackay et al. (1981a). Equations were proposed for transport rates as a function of the oil slick thickness, the oil-water infer facial tension, the sea state, and in particular, the fraction of the sea covered by breaking waves. Although there are some data on this fraction, it is only for seas in the absence of oil. As is well known, oil reduces the incidence of breaking waves. Also, the dispersion process is believed to occur even when there are no breaking waves, a possible mechanism being Folding n of the oil when short waves of relatively high amplitude and short wavelength pass through the oil layer. When the surface layer of water is well mixed, vertical eddy diffu- sion presumably causes further transport downward, and hypothetically,

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279 Langmair circulation cells may be even more important. Sutcliffe et al. (1963) reported sinking rates of water in the convergences of 2.7-5.7 cm/s with moderate wind speeds . This should be suff icient to overcome the buoyancy of some oil droplets that otherwise would not sink, but direct observations are lacking. Further research on the problem of vertical dispersion is justified. An adequate set of equations cannot be developed until the basic mechanisms are better understood. Emulsification/Mousse Formation (Water-in-Oil) Laboratory studies to evaluate water-in-oil emulsion fornication for different crude oils and petroleum products have demonstrated a depen- dence on the unique chemical compositions of each of the mater ials tested (Payne, 1984, and references therein) . Heavier crudes with high viscosities are, in general, found to form the more stable emulsions (Bocard and Gatellier, 1981), and the presence of asphaltenes and higher-molecular-weight waxes have been found to be positively cor- related with mousse stability (Berridge et al., 1968a,b; Davis and Gibbs, 1975; MacGregor and McLean, 1977; Mackay et al., 1979, 1980a; Twardus, 1980; Bocard and Gatellier, 1981; Bridie et al., 1980~. Slightly differ ing results have been obtained in different investiga- tions, but generally these materials act together in the emulsif ication process, although the asphaltenes do appear to play a more s ignificant role (Bridle et al., 1980; Berridge et al., 1968a,b). The crystallizing properties of the component waxes (near the pour points of the oils tested) are believed to be important in affecting the internal oil- mousse structure and viscosity, and the asphaltenes are believed to act as surfactants, preventing water-water coalescence in the more stable mixtures (Berridge et al., 1968c; Canevari, 1969; Mackay et al., 1973; Bridie et al., 1980; Cairns et al., 1974~. Other indigenous surface- active agents such as metalloporphyrins and nitrogen, sulfur, and oxygen compounds are believed to be equally important. The products of photochemical and microbial oxidation have also been identif fed as having an impor tent role as stabiliz ing agents (Bocard and Gatellier, 1981; Klein and Pilpel, 1974; Burwood and Spears , 1974 ; Zaj ic et al ., 1974 ; Fr iede , 1973 ; Guire et al ., 1973 ~ . In several instances, mousse could only be formed with photochemically or microbially weathered oils which were also subject to evaporation/ d issolution processes . Brega, Niger fan, Zar zatine, and 1 ight Arabian crude oils have all been shown to exhibit this behavior in laboratory studies (Berridge et al., 1968b; Bocard and Gatellier, 1981) . The formation of a stable mousse at the Ixtoc I wellhead was also observed to be delayed until after these processes had been operative for 24-48 hours on the oil released during that blowout (Payne , 1981 ) . No stable mousses could be formed in laboratory studies at any temperature with light petroleum distillates such as gasoline, kerosenes and several diesel fuels (Berridge et al., 1968a,b; Twardus, 1980) and could only be obtained with several 1 ight lube oils when they are fortif fed with wax and asphaltene mixtures obtained from known mousse

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280 forming oils such as Kuwait crude (Bridle et al., 1980~. This asphaltene mixture could also contain other surface-active agents of higher molecular weights. Temperature is also a factor in mousse formation, and in several instances at low temperatures approaching the pour point of the heavier oils, stable emulsions have been generated regardless of wax or asphaltene content. Conversely, if stable water-in-oil emulsions are repeatedly exposed to freeze-thaw cycles, some destabilization and separation of water and oil have been noted (Dickens et al., 1981; and Twardus, 1980~. Similar results have been obtained when laboratory generated and real spill water-in-oil emulsions were subjected to prolonged heating or removal from the water column. The absolute amount of water content and the size of water droplets incorporated into various mixtures of mousse also significantly affect their stability and viscosity (8erridge et al., 1968a,b; Mackay et al. , 1980a; Twardus, 1980; Bocard and Gatellier, 1981) . Positive correla- tions of percent water versus mousse stability and viscosity have been noted for several of the crude oils studied (Mackay et al., 1979, 1980a) . In general, with many oils, maximum stability is achieved with a water content in the range of 20-80%; however, at an oil-specific critical point, significant destabilization of the emulsions occurred (Berridge et al., 1968a,b; Twardus, 1980~. Presumably, this reflects enhanced water-water contact and coalescence resulting in ultimate phase separation. In most of the laboratory studies, the presence and/or absence of bacteria and suspended particulate material did not appear to affect emulsion behavior (Berridge et al., 1968a,b; Davis and Gibbs, 1975~. Bacterial growth was generally limited to the surface of the mousse products tested, and is believed to have been inhibited by limited oxygen and nutrient diffusion into the mousse. Toxic materials inher- ent to the oils themselves may also be responsible for these observa- tions, although water content (and in particular the size of the water droplets encapsulated within the mixtures) has also been correlated with the presence of bacteria in the less stable mousses (Berridge et al., 1968a,b). In several laboratory studies significant bacterial utilization of the mousse only occurred after treatment with disper- sants, resulting in the break-up of the material, with concomitant increased surface-to-volume ratios (Bocard and Gatellier, 19811. Physical Properties of Water-in-Oil Emulsions The physical properties of stable emulsions are different from those of the starting crudes, and increases in specific gravity and viscosity have been observed to affect spreading, dispersion, and solution rates (Berridge et al., 19685; Davis and Gibbs, 1975; MacGregor and McLean, 1977; Mackay et al., 1979, 1980a; Twardus, 1980~. Some evidence has also suggested that evaporation of hydrocarbons of lower molecular weight (Cg-C12) is af fected by the emulsion (Twardus, 1980; Nagata and Rondo, 19771. In general, these effects are most significant in the emulsions con- taining greater than 50% water. Water-in-oil emulsions with less water usually have pour points, spreading properties, and viscosities which proportionately resemble those of the starting oils (Twardus , 1980 ; Mackay et al., 1980a).

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