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24

2011

DISHONORABLE DISPOSAL

Upwelling is a vital ecological process that delivers nutrients from the benthic zone (sea floor); however, this same process is also capable of delivering PCBs from sunken naval vessels to shallow waters.

Coastal upwelling occurs when wind blows parallel to the coast, deflecting surface water away from the coastline (Ekman Transport) as influenced by the Coriolis effect (Earth’s rotation). Surface water is pushed offshore and is replaced by cool, nutrient-rich water from the deep ocean.55 This process is also capable of delivering PCBs from sunken naval vessels to shallow waters, yet upwelling has not been assessed by the Navy as a material transport

risk.

3.

Meridional

Circulation

Overturning: Deep ocean currents and water circulation produces dynamic uplift capable of delivering sediments, with which PCBs adhere,

to

surface

waters

on

a

global

scale.

Traditionally, this is known as Meridional Circulation Overturning, in which currents driven by wind, thermohaline [salinity and

temperature

interactive]

circulation,

and

atmospheric conditions transport deep water to

shallow water.56

Similar to upwelling, this

naturally occurring ocean circulation has not been assessed by the Navy as a potential PCB

transport vessels.

mechanism

from

sunken

naval

As evidenced, and conceptual model,

contrary to the Navy PCB material can be

transported great distances from the initial sink site via physical and biological means. PCBs and other hazardous materials left on SINKEX vessels are in no way contained to the dumping site and pose unnecessary risks to human health.

on-the-marine- environment/upwelling-and-downwelling

http://oceanmotion.org/html/background/upwelling-and- downwelling.htm 55

56

http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Newsroom/view.php?id=24124 BASEL ACTION NETWORK

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