Lessons from the Exxon Valdez oil spill disaster in Alaska

Yuqiang Xia, Michel C. Boufadel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Oil spills are potentially the most destructive pollution source impacting beaches and marshes. Hie lingering of oil from the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill (EVOS) in some of the Prince William Sound (PWS) beaches, Alaska poses a scientific challenge, because various studies expected the oil to disappear almost 20 years after the spill. This paper reviews the fate, effects and remediation evaluations of the EVOS. The hydrogeological mechanism causing the oil persistence in tidal gravel beaches along PWS was highlighted. The experiences, lessons and results from the EVOS provide implications on locating and bioremediating spilled oil and on designing optimal bioremediation strategies in tidal gravel beaches (coarse-sediment beaches) widely distributed around the world, especially in mid- and high-latitude regions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)270-273
Number of pages4
JournalDisaster Advances
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2010
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)


  • Alaska
  • Bioremediation
  • Exxon valdez oil spill (EVOS)
  • Lingering oil
  • Oil spill disasters


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