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Exxon Valdez Oil Remnants Still Fresh

28 February 2014 11:15 am
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Oil from the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill trapped between rocks on a beach in the Gulf of Alaska, more than 20 years after the spill.

Gail Irvine/USGS

Oil from the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill trapped between rocks on a beach in the Gulf of Alaska, more than 20 years after the spill.

Twenty-five years after the Exxon Valdez oil spill, remnants of the disaster are still as fresh as ever. Scientists interested in how oil persists long after a spill have discovered traces of the substance lodged between boulders in Alaska; the remnants are similar to 11-day-old oil. The researchers, who presented their work at this week’s Ocean Sciences Meeting in Honolulu, caution that the oil they’re finding and studying is minute compared with the vast amount originally spilled.

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