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An Analysis of Selected Oil Spill Case Studies on the Shorelines of Canada

Q. Feng1, C. J. An1 *, Y. Cao1, Z. Chen1, E. Owens2, E. Taylor3, Z. Wang1, and E. A. Saad1

  1. Department of Building, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Concordia University, Montreal, QC H3G 1M8, Canada
  2. Owens Coastal Consultants, Bainbridge Island, WA 98110, United States
  3. Polaris Applied Sciences Inc., Bainbridge Island, WA 98110, United States

*Corresponding author. Email:*Corresponding author. Email:


After an oil spill, oil may wash ashore and there is only a short window of opportunity to respond. Analysis of historical incident data is valuable to guide future responses and cleanup practices. This study summarized the oil spill accidents that impacted the Canadian shoreline and analyzed the related information including location, incident characteristics, and shoreline treatment. Major spills due to tanker accidents in Canadian marine waters fortunately have been infrequent. Most of the accidents have happened on Canada’s Pacific coast, accounting for 52% of the total accidents recorded. The Atlantic coast accounted for 39% and the remaining accidents happened in the Arctic region. Regarding spilled volume, 55% of the accidents spilled oil volumes smaller than 100 m3. Spilled volumes between 100 ~ 1000 m3 represent 30% of the incidents and 15% had spilled volume greater than 1000 m3. Bunker C fuel and diesel were the main types of the spilled oil, accounting for 33% of the spills, respectively. Within the oil spill accidents impacting Canadian shore- lines, marine vessel accidents were the major sources accounting for 70% of the spill accidents. In terms of the shoreline treatment, the commonly employed treatments were manual, vacuum, mechanical, and sorbent removal. The dataset highlighted the significance of a more comprehensive record for response phase details and environmental effects monitoring.

Keywords: oil spill, shoreline, case studies, cleanup, Canada

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