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Influence of the oceanographic conditions during spring 2003 on the transport of the Prestige tanker fuel oil to the Galician coast

AuthorsÁlvarez-Salgado, Xosé Antón ; Herrera, José Luis ; Gago, Jesús ; Otero, P.; Soriano, J. A.; Pola, C. G.; García-Soto, Carlos
KeywordsPrestige oil spill
Wind and density-driven circulation
Iberian current
Iberian poleward current
Issue Date2006
CitationMarine Pollution Bulletin 53(5-7): 239-249 (2006)
AbstractHydrographic data collected during the cruise HIDROPRESTIGE were combined with meteorological and dynamic data provided by remote sensors and drifting/moored buoys, to describe the surface circulation of the Northern Iberian basin in March–April 2003. Sea surface winds transported the floating Prestige oil slicks from the sinking area to the continental slope off the Rías Baixas in 1/2 month: the surface current intensity was 2% of the wind intensity and it was rotated clockwise 5° from the wind direction. Mesoscale cyclonic and anticyclonic structures west of 10°W increased the residence time of oil patches in the Northern Iberian basin, as compared with the expected southwards flow of the Iberian current (IC). On the other hand, the Iberian poleward current (IPC) formed a marked surface front with coastal waters, preventing the entry of fuel oil into the rías. PAHs in the surface layer during the cruise were <0.5 μg L−1, except in the Galicia bank (∼1 μg L−1; where the Prestige tanker was still leaking) and the vicinity of Cape Fisterra (∼1.5 μg L−1; where the convergence front between the IPC and coastal waters vanished).
Description11 páginas, 7 figuras
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.marpolbul.2005.09.031
Appears in Collections:(IIM) Artículos
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