The oil spil off the kimberly coastline in northern Western Australia is yet to be stopped. Experts are still trying to find a way to cap the leak which is estimated to be about 2000 mt below the ocean floor.
taken from the 'Australian Science Media Centre'
Professor John Buckeridge is Head of the School of Civil, Environmental & Chemical Engineering at RMIT University, Melbourne.
“The concern for me is when the slick reaches the areas of high biodiversity along the shorelines and it’s there that there is greatest likely impact - on marine invertebrates in the shallow zone and on birds, it is also a breeding ground for many species. That is where the corals are, it is where a lot of the algae are, it is an area where filter feeders in particular can get clogged up with oil and organics. One of the rather interesting things that a lot of people forget is that the nature of these hydrocarbons is very complex, there are alkanes and alkenes many of which will have an effect on the metabolism, lifecycles and reproduction of some of these organisms. We are animals which function on chemistry and they are chemicals that can cause things to happen at the wrong time.
It is very light grade crude and it is evaporating quickly so hopefully slicks won’t reach the shore. If it evaporates or dissipates before it reaches the shore then it is less of a problem