Biological and oceanographical survey of the Santa Barbara Channel oil spill, 1969-1970: v.2. Physical, chemical, and geological studies
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Biological and oceanographical survey of the Santa Barbara Channel oil spill, 1969-1970: v.2. Physical, chemical, and geological studies

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    The sequence of events which influenced the Santa Barbara Channel environment after mid-January, 1969 occurred in a dynamic system. A portion of the oil emanating from an offshore well blowout approximately 6 miles southeast of Santa Barbara spread over large areas of the channel and was deposited on some beaches and at the sediment-water interface. A major flood also occurred at the same time and large quantities of detrital material were introduced into the channel. In addition, active natural seeps existed and hydrocarbons from these sources were introduced into the environment before, during and after peak flow from the well blowout. A survey of the area by the University of Southern California formally commenced in late February, 1969 in order to assess the effects of these incidents. Our evaluation of the events described is based on approximately 45 man days on the beaches, 115 ship days at sea, 30 hours of SCUBA dives and 25 hours of aerial observations. In excess of 250,000 laboratory analyses and field measurements were reduced to about 650 charts and graphs. In addition, more than 1000 color photographs were taken during the field work. From this, we have selected a representative number of illustrations to include in this report. The text of the report has been kept to a minimum, wherever possible, because the illustrations succinctly depict the environmental parameters which were studied.
  • Sea Grant Document Number:
    AHF-T-71-002
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