The fate of an oil spill in São Sebastião channel: a case study

Eliete Zanardi-Lamardo Marcia Caruso Bícego Rolf Roland Weber About the authors

Abstracts

An oil pipeline ruptured in May 1994 and 2 700 tons of crude oil leaked into the São Sebastião Channel, affecting several neighboring areas. A program for the monitoring of hydrocarbons in sediments, using the gas chromatography / flame ionization detector methodology, was being undertaken in the area at the time. The data obtained were compared to those of samples collected after the accident to determine the fate of the oil spilled and ascertain its contribution to the environment. The earlier results showed that hydrocarbons were introduced from two different sources: biogenic, mainly from terrestrial plants, and anthropogenic, as oil, in sewage and from shipping. The later data indicated that the site closest to the pipeline rupture had been the most affected. Following that, two stations located at the north entrance of the channel presented the highest n-alkane concentrations, suggesting that the northeasterly wind-driven currents had carried the oil northward. Seven months later, one of these stations, a high-energy site, showed some signs of recovery, but this process was not observed at the other, which seemed to be a low-energy site. In conclusion, the data showed that the aliphatic hydrocarbon analyses were powerful tools for the assessment of the fate of the oil spill and that the northern part of the São Sebastião Channel is more subject to the effects of oil spills.

Oil spill fate; Pipeline rupture; Petroleum hydrocarbons; Sediment; São Sebastião Channel; Brazil


A ruptura de um oleoduto em maio de 1994 introduziu 2.700 tons de óleo cru no Canal de São Sebastião, contaminando algumas áreas. Na ocasião um monitoramento de hidrocarbonetos em sedimentos estava sendo realizado na região, utilizando o método de cromatografia em fase gasosa/ detecção por ionização de chama. Os dados obtidos nesse monitoramento foram comparados aos resultados das amostras coletadas logo após o acidente, com o objetivo de verificar a extensão da contaminação por óleo e os lugares mais atingidos. Os dados prévios mostraram duas fontes de introdução de hidrocarbonetos: biogênica, com predomínio de plantas superiores, e antrópica, causada por atividades náuticas e esgotos. Os dados posteriores mostraram que a estação de coleta mais próxima ao oleoduto foi a mais atingida. Na sequencia, as duas estações localizadas na entrada norte do canal apresentaram as maiores concentrações de n-alcanos, sugerindo que as correntes NE, impulsionadas pelo vento, transportaram o óleo no sentido norte do canal. Sete meses depois uma destas estações, aquela situada em local de alta energia, mostrou sinais de recuperação, o que, contudo, não foi observado na outra, considerada de ambiente deposicional. Em conclusão, pode-se afirmar que análises de hidrocarbonetos são ferramentas poderosas para avaliar o destino de um óleo e que a parte norte do Canal de São Sebastião tem maior probabilidade de ser afetada na ocasião de um derrame de óleo.

Destino de óleo derramado; Ruptura de oleoduto; Hidrocarbonetos de petróleo; Sedimento; Canal de São Sebastião; Brasil


  • BÍCEGO, M. C.; ZANARDI, E.; ITO, R. G.; WEBER, R. R. Hydrocarbons in surface sediments of Admiralty Bay, King George Island, Antarctica. Pesqui. Antart. Bras., v. 3, p. 15-21, 1998.
  • BÍCEGO, M. C.; ZANARDI-LAMARDO, E.; TANIGUCHI, S.; MARTINS, C. C.; SILVA, D. A. M.; SASAKI, S. T.; ALBERGARIA-BARBOSA, A. C. R.; PAOLO, F. S.; WEBER, R. R.; MONTONE, R. C. Results from a 15-year study on hydrocarbon concentrations in water and sediment from Admiralty Bay, King George Island, Antarctica. Antarct. Sci., v. 21, n. 3, p. 209-220, 2009.
  • CASTRO, B. M.; MIRANDA, L. B.; SILVA, L. S.; FONTES, R. F. C.; PEREIRA, A. F.; COELHO, A. L. Processos físicos: hidrografia, circulação e transporte. In: PIRES-VANIN, A. M. S. (Ed.). Oceanografia de um ecossistema subtropical: plataforma de São Sebastião, SP. São Paulo: EDUSP, 2008. p. 59-121.
  • CETESB. Operação TEBAR V: relatório de atendimento. São Paulo: Cetesb, 1994a. 116p.
  • CETESB. Relatório de balneabilidade das praias paulistas São Paulo: Cetesb, 1994b. 112p. (Série Relatórios).
  • CHRASTANSKY, A.; CALLIES, U. Model-based long-term reconstruction of weather-driven variations in chronic oil pollution along the German North Sea coast. Mar. Pollut. Bull., v. 58, n. 7, p. 967-975, 2009.
  • CHRASTANSKY, A.; CALLIES, U.; FLEET, D. M. Estimation of the impact of prevailing weather conditions on the occurrence of oil-contaminated dead birds on the German North Sea coast. Environ. Pollut., v. 157, n. 1, p. 194-198, 2009.
  • CRIPPS, G. C.; SHEARS, J. The fate in the marine environment of a minor diesel fuel spill from an Antarctic Research Station. Environ. Monit. Assess., v. 46, n. 3, p. 221-232, 1997.
  • DE LA HUZ, R.; LASTRA, M.; JUNOY, J.; CASTELLANOS, C.; VIÉITEZ, J. M. Biological impacts of oil pollution and cleaning in the intertidal zone of exposed sandy beaches: preliminary study of the ''Prestige" oil spill. Estuarine, Coastal Shelf Sci., v. 65, n. 1/2, p. 19-29, 2005.
  • GESAMP. The revised GESAMP hazard evaluation procedure for chemical substances carried by ships: reports and studies IMO/FAO/UNESCO/WMO/WHO/IAEA/UN/UNEP Joint Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Environmental Protection. London: IMO, 2002. 137 p. (GESAMP Reports and Studies, n. 64).
  • GUO, W. J.; WANG, Y. X.; XIE, M. X.; CUI, Y. J. Modeling oil spill trajectory in coastal waters based on fractional Brownian motion. Mar. Pollut. Bull., v. 58, n. 9, p. 1339-1346, 2009.
  • GOUGH, M. A.; ROWLAND, S. J. Characterization of unresolved complex-mixtures of hydrocarbons in petroleum. Nature, v. 344, n. 6267, p. 648-650, 1990.
  • HUMPHREY, B.; BOEHM, P. D.; HAMILTON, M. C.; NORSTROM, R. J. The fate of chemically dispersed and untreated crude oil in Arctic benthic biota. Arctic, v. 40, suppl. 1, p. 149-161, 1987.
  • LAW, R. J. Hydrocarbon concentrations in water and sediments from UK marine waters determined by fluorescence spectroscopy. Mar. Pollut. Bull., v. 12, n. 5, p. 153-157. 1981.
  • LEMOS, A. T.; SOARES, I. D.; GHISOLFI, R. D.; CIRANO, M. Oil spill modeling off the Brazilian eastern coast: the effect of tidal currents on oil fate. Rev. Bras. Geof., v. 27, n. 4, p. 625-639, 2009.
  • LEMKAU, K. L.; PEACOCK, E. E.; NELSON, R. K.; VENTURA, G. T.; KOVECSES, J. L.; REDDY, C. M. The M/V Cosco Busan spill: source identification and short-term fate. Mar. Pollut. Bull., v.60, n. 11, p. 2123-2129, 2010.
  • LOPES, C. F.; MILANELLI, J. C. C.; PROSPERI, V. A.; ZANARDI, E.; TRUZZI, A. C. Coastal Monitoring Program of São Sebastião channel: assessing the effects of 'Tebar V' oil spill on rocky shore populations. Mar. Pollut. Bull., v. 34, n. 11, p. 923-927, 1997.
  • MAIOLI, O. L. G.; RODRIGUES, K. C.; KNOPPERS, B. A.; AZEVEDO, D. A. Pollution source evaluation using petroleum and aliphatic hydrocarbons in surface sediments from two Brazilian estuarine systems. Org. Geochem., v. 41, n. 9, p. 966-970, 2010. [Advances in Organic Geochemistry 2009 - Proceedings of the 24th International Meeting on Organic Geochemistry].
  • MAYNARD, A. W. Environmental tests: are they valid? CHEMTECH, v. 20, p. 151-155, 1990.
  • MELVILLE, F.; ANDERSEN, L. E.; JOLLEY, D. F. The Gladstone (Australia) oil spill - impacts on intertidal areas: baseline and six months post-spill. Mar. Pollut. Bull., v. 58, n. 2, p. 263-271, 2009.
  • MORALES-CASELLES, C.; KALMAN, J.; RIBA, I.; DELVALLS, T. A. Comparing sediment quality in Spanish littoral areas affected by acute (Prestige, 2002) and chronic (Bay of Algeciras) oil spills. Environ. Pollut., v. 146, n. 1, p. 233-240, 2007.
  • MORALES-CASELLES, C.; RIBA, I.; SARASQUETE, C.; ANGEL DELVALLS, T. The application of a weight of evidence approach to compare the quality of coastal sediments affected by acute (Prestige 2002) and chronic (Bay of Algeciras) oil spills. Environ. Pollut., v. 156, n. 2, p. 394-402, 2008.
  • NRC (National Research Council). Oil in the sea III: inputs, fates and effects. Washington: National Academy Press, 2003. 280 p.
  • PENELA-ARENAZ, M.; BELLAS, J.; VÁZQUEZ, E. Chapter 5: effects of the Prestige oil spill on the biota of NW Spain: 5 years of learning. Adv. Mar. Biol., v. 56, p. 365-396, 2009.
  • PETERS, K. E.; WALTERS, C. C.; MOLDOWAN, J. M. The biomarker guide 2nd ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press,. 2005. 704p. [v. 2 biomarkers and isotopes in petroleum exploration and earth history].
  • POFFO, I. R. F.; NAKASAKI, A.; EYSINK, G. G. J. Dinâmica dos vazamentos de óleo no Canal de São Sebastião - São Paulo (1974-1994) São Paulo: Cetesb, 1996. 124p.
  • POFFO, I. R. F.; XAVIER, J. C. M.; SERPA, R. R. A história dos 27 anos de vazamento de óleo no litoral norte do estado de São Paulo (1974-2000). Rev. Meio Ambiente Ind., v. 30, p. 98-104, 2001.
  • QUEVAUVILLER, P. H.; COFINO, W.; VIJVERBERG, A.; WELLS, D. E.; GRIEPINK, B. Quality assurance in marine monitoring. In: QUEVAUVILLER, P., ed. Quality assurance in marine monitoring programmes: report and programme: proceedings of the workshop held in Noordwijkerhout. 21-23 de maio de 1990. [S.l.]: Commision of the European Communities, 1992. 43p. (Euratom publications - EUR, 14297).
  • READMAN, J. W.; PRESTON, M. R.; MANTOURA, R. F. C. An integrated technique to quantify sewage, oil and PAH pollution in estuarine and coastal environments. Mar. Pollut. Bull., v. 17, n. 7, p. 298-308, 1986.
  • SÁNCHEZ, F.; VELASCO, F.; CARTES, J. E.; OLASO, I.; PRECIADO, I.; FANELLI, E.; SERRANO, A.; GUTIERREZ-ZABALA, J. L. Monitoring the Prestige oil spill impacts on some key species of the Northern Iberian shelf. Mar. Pollut. Bull., v. 53, n. 5/7, p. 332-349, 2006.
  • SNEADAKER, S. C.; GLYNN, P. W.; RUMBOLD, D. G.; CORCORAN, E. F. Distribution of n-alkanes in marine samples from Southeast Florida. Mar. Pollut. Bull., v. 30, p. 83-89, 1995.
  • SOTILLO, M. G.; ALVAREZ FANJUL, E.; CASTANEDO, S.; ABASCAL, A. J.; MENENDEZ, J.; EMELIANOV, M.; OLIVELLA, R.; GARCÍA-LADONA, E.; RUIZ-VILLARREAL, M.; CONDE, J.; GÓMEZ, M.; CONDE, P.; GUTIERREZ, A. D.; MEDINA, R. Towards an operational system for oil-spill forecast over Spanish waters: initial developments and implementation test. Mar. Pollut. Bull., v. 56, n. 4, p. 686-703, 2008.
  • SUGUIO, K. Introdução a sedimentologia São Paulo: Blücher: EDUSP, 1973. 317p.
  • UNEP (UNITED NATIONS ENVIRONMENT PROGRAMME). Determination of petroleum hydrocarbons in sediments Monaco: IOC: IAEA, 1992. 97p. (Reference methods for marine pollution studies; n. 20).
  • VOLKMAN, J. K.; HOLDSWOTH, D. G.; NEILL, G. P.; BAVOR Jr., H. J. Identification of natural, anthropogenic and petroleum hydrocarbons in aquatic sediments. Sci. Total Environ., v. 112, n. 2/3, p. 203-219, 1992.
  • YIM, U. H.; HA, S. Y.; AN, J. G.; WON, J. H.; HAN, G. M.; HONG, S. H.; KIM, M.; JUNG, J. H.; SHIM, W. J. Fingerprint and weathering characteristics of stranded oils after the Hebei Spirit oil spill. J. Hazard. Mater., v. 197, p. 60-69, 2011.
  • ZANARDI, E.; BÍCEGO, M. C.; MIRANDA, L. B.; WEBER, R. R. Distribution and origin of hydrocarbons in water and sediment in São Sebastião, SP, Brazil. Mar. Pollut. Bull., v. 38, n. 4, p. 261-267, 1999a.
  • ZANARDI, E.; BÍCEGO, M. C.; WEBER, R. R. Dissolved/dispersed petroleum aromatic hydrocarbons in the São Sebastião Channel, São Paulo, Brazil. Mar. Pollut. Bull., v. 38, n. 5, p. 410-413, 1999b.

Publication Dates

  • Publication in this collection
    19 July 2013
  • Date of issue
    June 2013

History

  • Received
    21 Feb 2011
  • Accepted
    14 Apr 2013
  • Reviewed
    17 Mar 2013
Universidade de São Paulo, Instituto Oceanográfico Praça do Oceanográfico, 191 , 05508-120 Cidade Universitária, São Paulo - SP - Brasil, Tel.: (55 11) 3091-6501, Fax: (55 11) 3032-3092 - São Paulo - SP - Brazil
E-mail: io@usp.br