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Buried oil in the intertidal beach zone: coupling between beach morphodynamic, natural degradation, forcing mechanisms and biological activity

Period: October 2008 till September 2011
Status: Completed

Institutes (4)  Top 

The main objective of this proposal was the study of the buried fuel in the intertidal zone of beaches to improve the applicability of morphodynamic driven fuel burial models to support decision-making in the cleanup design. The particular objectives proposed were: a) The improvement of response to recent or new oil spills; b) The re-evaluation and clean-up strategies to ancient oil spills; c) The acquisition of new data to increase the knowledge of the evolution and persistence of subsurface oil. These were focused on three fundamental aspects: i) the morphodynamic evolution of beaches as a controlling factor of burial and degradation of subsurface fuel, ii) the physical processes that are responsible of the differential beach behavior and iii) the role of the bioremediation as an accelerating factor of the subsurface oil degradation.
The results obtained under the OILDEBEACH project allowed reaching some important conclusions that will be incorporated in protocols to be applied for cleaning buried oil in beaches affected by oil spills, a protocol that will include not only beach morphodynamic models but also bioremediation techniques that take advantage of the indigenous microbial community.

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