Skip to comments.The Experiment That Never Ends: Arctic oil spill study still producing results
Posted on 01/19/2013 7:49:15 PM PST by SunkenCiv
In late July 2011, Paul Boots, a supervisor at an oilfield on Alaska's North Slope, found a small, yellow plastic disc on a creekbed. Scientists 30 years ago tossed the disc into the sea as part of a study on arctic oil spills.
Boots, who works at the large gravel pad that hosts the Badami oil field, was with his coworkers on an annual cleanup day along a nameless creek just west of the gravel pad.
"I was enjoying a beautiful day and strayed a bit farther than most in my search for 'fugitive emissions' (everything we pick up has been blown off of our pad)," he wrote in an email. "I found the disc about 50 yards from the saltwater."
...The discs have been subjects of these weekly columns a few times, the first by Larry Gedney in 1982. Gedney wrote of how researcher Brian Matthews and his coworkers released 6,800 of the yellow discs, called drifters, into lagoons and the open sea along the coastline near Prudhoe Bay from 1977 until 1981...
People living and working on the North Slope recovered and sent in about 900 of the discs by the time of Gedney's story, but most of the originals endure somewhere out there...
In 1998, two brothers beachcombing in northern Scotland found one of the discs and returned it. The disc made it to Scotland after spinning in an ocean current by the North Pole for about a decade before it was spit through Fram Strait, UAF oceanographer Tom Weingartner said at the time. In 2007, a UAF graduate student studying birds on the tundra near Barrow found another one about 60 feet from a lagoon.
(Excerpt) Read more at gi.alaska.edu ...
|GGG managers are SunkenCiv, StayAt HomeMother & Ernest_at_the_Beach|
IOW, the pattern is for oil to pretty much stay put. :')
Not really sure about the point of the article. Crap floats around the ocean and people find it?
Would be way more interesting to do again today and track with GPS. That way you can see all it’s travels and not just its ending point.
$5900 is just waiting to be claimed by some enterprising yellow-disk-gatherer.
I wonder if anyone’s tried that, it’s a good idea. A couple summers ago at the local ArtPrize, one of the exhibits was a dynamic piece of alleged art that took its cues for sound and movement from the signal of a US buoy that became unmoored and is floating somewhere in the Pacific (it antedates GPS). With GPS tracking, the number needed could also be greatly reduced.
One dollar reward for the return of the disk?
It will cost you considerably more than one dollar to return the disk these days.
:’) I was being ironic, but A) I don’t think the offer still stands and B) they probably don’t want the disk back, just the serial #, location, date found, etc.
I can’t blame ‘em for wanting to leave China. I wonder how many got gulped by predators?