Oil Spill and Cleanup

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10 Questions

What caused the oil slick to form on the surface of the Gulf of Mexico?

Leakage of oil from the well on the ocean floor

How did workers remove the spilled oil from the surface of the ocean?

By surrounding the oil with miles-long lines of floating foam

What happens to birds covered in oil from oil spills?

They are unable to fly due to getting cold

Why do workers wash and rinse the birds covered in oil many times?

To ensure they are clean and oil-free

How did engineers attempt to plug the oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico?

They brought a huge concrete-and-steel box to cap the leak, but it failed.

What is the process of cleaning up the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico?

Workers burn some of the spilled oil and surround the oil with lines of floating foam, then skim the oil away onto ships.

How do people help birds covered in oil from oil spills?

They wash the birds' oily feathers in soapy water, holding the bird still while scrubbing and rinsing it many times before allowing it to rest until it's ready to return to the wild.

What method was used to cap the oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico, and why did it fail?

A huge concrete-and-steel box was lowered to cap the leak, but it failed. It was brought to cap the leak from a barge.

How do workers remove the spilled oil from the surface of the ocean?

Workers use miles-long lines of floating foam to surround the oil, then skim it away onto ships.

What is the process of washing and rinsing birds covered in oil from oil spills, and why is it important?

People wash the birds' oily feathers in soapy water and rinse them many times to ensure they are all clean and ready to return to the wild. It is important because the birds get covered in oil, get cold, and are unable to fly.

Study Notes

Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill

  • The Gulf of Mexico oil slick was caused by an oil leak on the ocean floor.

Oil Removal Methods

  • Workers used skimmers to remove spilled oil from the surface of the ocean.
  • Oil-absorbing pads and booms were also used to contain and remove oil.
  • Chemical dispersants were applied to break down oil into smaller droplets.

Bird Rescue and Rehabilitation

  • Oil-covered birds experience hypothermia, as their feathers lose insulation properties.
  • Workers wash and rinse birds multiple times to remove oil, as a single wash may not remove all oil.
  • This process helps restore birds' natural insulation and buoyancy, increasing survival chances.

Stopping the Oil Leak

  • Engineers attempted to plug the oil leak using a "top kill" method, involving heavy mud injection.
  • A cap was placed over the leak, but failed due to pressure and hot oil flow.

Cleaning Up the Oil Spill

  • The cleanup process involved a combination of methods, including skimming, booms, and chemical dispersants.

Helping Oil-Covered Birds

  • People help birds by washing and rinsing them multiple times to remove oil.
  • This process increases the birds' chances of survival by restoring natural insulation and buoyancy.

This quiz covers the events of an oil rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico, the resulting oil spill, and the subsequent cleanup efforts to mitigate the environmental impact. It includes details about the leakage, the threat to marine life, and the methods used for plugging the leaks.

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