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Environmental Studies in Port Valdez, Alaska: A Basis for Management

Environmental Studies in Port Valdez, Alaska: A Basis for Management

David G. Shaw (Editor), Mohammad J. Hameedi (Editor)

ISBN: 978-1-118-66929-7

Mar 2013, American Geophysical Union

423 pages

Select type: O-Book

Description

Published by the American Geophysical Union as part of the Lecture Notes on Coastal and Estuarine Studies Series, Volume 24.

It was no surprise that, in the search for a suitable sea-link for the trans-Alaska Pipeline to carry Arctic Slope petroleum to southern markets. Port Valdez was chosen. Among the operational requirements of this facility was the discharge of ballast water from the incoming tankers to a land based treatment plant and then to the port environment. Although highly treated, the discharged water still contained 8 to 10 parts per million of the most soluble fraction of petroleum. Eight to ten barrels of an aromatic rich mixture of hydrocarbons was to be discharged daily. Regulatory requirements included an assessment of the effect of this operation on the biological communities in Port Valdez and surrounding waters. This unique opportunity to observe the environmental effects of development of a major port facility that would discharge treated ballast water into a near pristine oceanographic system was without precedence in modern times. The challenge of this opportunity was grasped, especially by scientists of the Institute of Marine Science of the University of Alaska. Under the sponsorship of Alyeska Pipeline Service Company, the National Science Foundation and the Alaska Sea Grant Program of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration the now 15 year old program began.

FOREWORD IX

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS XIII

1. NATURAL AND HISTORIC SETTING
M. J. Hameedi 1

PHYSICAL ENVIRONMENT 3

BIOLOGICAL RESOURCES 8

MINING AND TRANSPORTATION 10

REFERENCES 13

2. THE BALLAST WATER TREATMENT PLANT
M. J. Hameedi 17

PLANT CONCEPT AND DESIGN 18

PLANT OPERATION AND EFFECTIVENESS 20

SUMMARY 35

REFERENCES 36

3. PROCESSES OF BALLAST WATER DISPERSAL
J. M. Colonell, H. J. Niebauer and D. L. Nebert  39

NEAR-FIELD DILUTION 41

FAR-FIELD DILUTION 47

ESTUARINE PROCESSES 48

FJORD OCEANOGRAPHY 50

HYDROGRAPHY AND CURRENT METER OBSERVATIONS 55

FLUSHING MECHANISMS 60

SUMMARY 61

REFERENCES 62

4. SEDIMENTATION PROCESSES
A. S. Naidu and L. H. Klein 69

AREA OF STUDY 70

SEDIMENTATION TRANSPORT AND DEPOSITION 70

SEDIMENT ACCUMULATION RATES 74

SUSPENDED SEDIMENT MASS BALANCE 75

CLAY MINERAL COMPOSITIONS 78

CONCENTRATION OF ORGANIC CARBON AND NITROGEN 80

FLUX AND ACCUMULATION RATES OF PARTICULATE ORGANIC CARBON AND PARTICULATE NITROGEN 81

METAL COMPOSITION AND FRACTIONATION PATTERN 84

RESULTS OF POLLUTION-RELATED GEOCHEMICAL STUDIES 85

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS 86

REFERENCES 86

5. WATER COLUMN PRODUCTION
R. T. Cooney and K. O. Coyle 93

PRIMARY PRODUCTION 95

ZOOPLANKTON PRODUCTION AND STANDING STOCKS 98

DISCUSSION 103

SUMMARY 109

REFERENCES 110

6. THE INTERTIDAL ZONE
H. M. Feder and B. Bryson-Schwafel 117

ENVIRONMENTAL SETTING 118

SEDIMENT SHORES 121

ROCKY SHORES 128

FIELD STUDIES OF EFFECTS OF OIL ON THE BIOTA 141

TROPHIC INTERACTIONS 143

EFFECTS OF THE 1964 EARTHQUAKE 144

A COMPARISON OF THE INTERTIDAL OF PORT VALDEZ WITH OTHER NORTHERN SYSTEMS 146

ENVIRONMENTAL DISTURBANCE WITHIN THE PORT 148

SUMMARY 149

REFERENCES 151

7. THE SUBTIDAL BENTHOS
H. M. Feder and S. C. Jewett 165

ENVIRONMENTAL SETTING 168

INFAUNAL COMMUNITY COMPOSITION OF THE DEEP BASIN 169

FACTORS AFFECTING INFAUNAL DISTRIBUTION 172

TROPHIC STRUCTURE AND FEEDING INTERACTIONS 183

CARBON FLOW 185

COMPARISON WITH OTHER OXIC NORTHERN FJORDS 189

SUMMARY 192

REFERENCES 194


8. FISHERIES RESOURCES
T. R. Merrell,Jr  203

BIOLOGY AND LIFE HISTORY OF IMPORTANT FISHES 207

SOLOMON GULCH SALMON HATCHERY 213

POTENTIAL OIL-RELATED EFFECTS ON FISHERIES RESOURCES 214

SUMMARY 220

REFERENCES 220


9. WATERBIRDS AND MARINE MAMMALS
M. E. Hogan and D. B. Irons 225

TOTAL BIRDS 226

Species Composition and Population Densities 226

BREEDING WATERBIRDS 231

MARINE MAMMALS 236

VULNERABILITY TO OIL POLLUTION 237

SUMMARY 239

REFERENCES 239


10. HYDROCARBON ACCUMULATIONS
D. G. Shaw 243

HYDROCARBON MEASUREMENTS 243

CRITERIA OF PETROLEUM ACCUMULATION 250

DISTRIBUTION OF TREATED BALLAST HYDROCARBONS 258

COMPARISON WITH OTHER ENVIRONMENTS 259

SUMMARY 261

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS 262

REFERENCES 262

11. HYDROCARBON BYCONVERSIONS: SOURCES, DYNAMICS. PRODUCTS AND POPULATIONS
D. K. Button and B. R. Robertson 267

SOURCES 268

HYDROCARBON COLLECTION BY BACTERIA 274

ENZYMOLOGY 275

KINETICS OF HYDROCARBON METABOLISM 278

INDUCTION OF HYDROCARBON METABOLISM IN BACTERIA 280

REPRESSION OF HYDROCARBON METABOLISM IN BACTERIA 281

APPLICATION OF LABORATORY CULTURE DATA TO HYDROCARBON

DYNAMICS 282

POPULATIONS OF HYDROCARBON OXIDIZERS 283

BIODEGRADATION EFFECTS ON HYDROCARBON DYNAMICS 283

CONCENTRATIONS OF HYDROCARBONS 284

CONTRIBUTION TO BIOMASS 285

SUMMARY 285

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS 286

REFERENCES 286

12. SUBLETHAL EFFECTS OF PETROLEUM ON BIOTA
J. F. Karinen 293

SUBLETHAL EFFECTS 295

COMPARISON WITH OTHER ENVIRONMENTS 308

SUMMARY 318

REFERENCES 318

13. NATURAL AND ANTHROPOGENIC DISTURBANCES AT THE ECOSYSTEM LEVEL
C. P. McRoy 329

ECOSYSTEM DISTURBANCE: THEORY AND DEFINITIONS 331

CHARACTERIZATION OF ECOSYSTEM PROCESSES 332

THE DISTURBANCE REGIME 334

CONSEQUENCES AT THE ECOSYSTEM LEVEL 336

SUMMARY 340

REFERENCES 341

14. MANAGEMENT USE OF SCIENTIFIC INFORMATION
D. A. Wolfe 345

AN OPTIMAL DECISION PROCESS FOR ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT AND MANAGEMENT 346

EFFECTIVENESS OF INFORMATION USE 360

SUMMARY 367

REFERENCES 378

15. SCIENTIFIC. TECHNICAL AND REGULATORY CONSIDERATIONS IN ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT
D. R. Redburn 375

STATEMENT OF THE ISSUES 376

THE ROLE OF ALASKAN REGULATORY AGENCIES IN MARINE ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT 377

SCIENCE AND THE REGULATORY DECISION-MAKING PROCESS: PERSPECTIVES IN MARINE ENVIRONMENTAL MONITORING 381

IMPORTANT UNANSWERED QUESTIONS 393

CONCLUSION: WHERE WE ARE AND WHERE WE ARE GOING 395

SUMMARY: LINKING SCIENCE AND REGULATION 398

REFERENCES 400

16. SUMMARY: SOME LESSONS FROM PORT VALDEZ
D. G. Shaw and M. J. Hameedi  403

FATE OF POLLUTANTS 404

EFFECTS OF POLLUTANTS 407

ACHIEVEMENTS OF MONITORING 409

MANAGEMENT FROM THE DISTURBANCE PERSPECTIVE 412

MANAGEMENT EFFECTIVENESS 414

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS 416

REFERENCES 417

INDEX 419