Deposition of tar balls (oil residue) on beaches along the west coast of India

V.K. Dhargalkar, T.W. Kureishy, M.V. Bhandare


Much of the world's transport of petroleum is carried along the shipping route in the Arabian Sea, not too far away from India. Hence oil spills seem to be common in the sea which ultimately find their way as deposits on the beaches of west coast of India in the form of tar balls. Based on the data for the years 1975 and 1976, the total tar ball deposition on the west coast of India is approximately 1000 and 750 tonnes respectively. A reduction of approximately 25% in 1976 is attributed to the reopening of the Suez Canal which has reduced the tanker traffic across the Arabian Sea. The deposition is heaviest during the monsoon months after which it ceases in the northern part of the west coast but, though minimal, is found throughout the year on the southern coast


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