Port Valdez, a fjord within Prince William Sound, Alaska, is the site of a major facility where petroleum from the trans-Alaska pipeline is transferred to large tankers. As such, Port Valdez offered a unique opportunity for a case study on the ability of present technology to detect significant ecosystem changes in a pristine oceanographic environment that was being subjected to a known level of disturbance, in this case the discharge of hydrocarbons. This volume presents an integrated review and analysis of a 15 year study on Port Valdez, covering such topics as - regional water movement and meteorology - sediments and trace elements - plankton - fisheries resources - intertidal biology - subtidal benthos - regulatory objectives. This volume will be of particular interest to marine biologists, oceanographers, ecologists, environmental managers and others dealing with the study and regulation of pollution in coastal environments.
Table of ContentsContents: Natural and Historic Setting.- The Ballast Water Treatment Plant.- Processes of Ballast Water Dispersal.- Sedimentation Processes.- Water Column Production.- The Intertidal Zone.- The Subtidal Benthos.- Fisheries Resources.- Waterbirds and Marine Mammals.- Hydrocarbon Accumulations.- Hydrocarbon Bioconversions: Sources, Dynamics, Products and Populations.- Sublethal Effects of Petroleum on Biota.- Natural and Anthropogenic Disturbances at the Ecosystem Level.- Management Use of Scientific Information.- Scientific, Technical and Regulatory Considerations in Environmental Management.- Summary: Some Lessons from Port Valdez.