In DepthEnvironment

Mystery oil spill threatens marine sanctuary in Brazil

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Science  08 Nov 2019:
Vol. 366, Issue 6466, pp. 672
DOI: 10.1126/science.366.6466.672

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Summary

Thousands of tons of crude oil residue began to wash up on Brazil's northeast seaboard in late August, contaminating hundreds of beaches, estuaries, reefs, and mangroves along a 2500-kilometer stretch of shoreline. Now, the first small blobs of oil have arrived at the largest biodiversity hot spot in the southern Atlantic Ocean, the Abrolhos Bank, which shelters almost 9000 square kilometers of reefs along the central part of the Brazilian coastline and is home to several iconic species. Brazilian Federal Police believe the spill came from the Bouboulina, a Greek tanker that passed Brazil in late July. That is consistent with computer simulations based on the distribution of the oil along the coast.

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