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View Diary: Tony Hayward issues Executive Order: Plumes do not Exist. (211 comments)

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  •  Good information. (11+ / 0-)

    anyone who has thoroughly studied thermodynamics will tell you that materials that are liquids or gasses at atmospheric pressure may achieve unusual phases under very high pressure.  That's what we have here, and Tony Hayward either doesn't know any thermodynamics, or he's lying and counting on the fact that very few people know any thermodynamics.

    Put any gas under 200 atmospheres of pressure (about what it at 5000 feet below the surface, and what would have been a bubble, simply won't be.  It will be of much higher density.

    Water is also denser down there, but which is more compressible, water or oil?  My understanding of chemical bonds suggests that it will be oil.  That doesn't mean that oil won't rise from 5000 feet down, but it won't rise as fast as expected, and if broken into small droplets, it will become suspended in the same way that small dust particles are suspended in air.

    In the case of the dust particles, they tend to settle down, but it can take minutes to hours for them to settle a few feet.  In the case of small oil droplets, they tend to settle up, but if they do so at the same rate that dust particles settle downward, it could take the plumes weeks to months to reach the surface, and if they get caught in downward currents, it could take decades.

    All that time they will be messing with the ocean chemistry wherever they drift and creating underwater dead zones.

    "Trust only those who doubt" Lu Xun

    by LookingUp on Mon May 31, 2010 at 09:00:42 AM PDT

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