Response Activities for Tar Ball Pollution from the 'Hebei Spirit' Oil Spill in the Southwestern Sea of Korea

서남해역에서 허베이스피리트호 원유유출 사고에 의해 생성된 타르볼 방제작업

  • Cho, Hyun-Jin (Pollution Response Department, Mokpo Coast Guard) ;
  • Kim, Jeong-Yeop (Pollution Response Department, Mokpo Coast Guard) ;
  • Yang, Mun-Chul (Pollution Response Department, Mokpo Coast Guard) ;
  • Seo, Kang-Ryul (Pollution Response Department, Mokpo Coast Guard) ;
  • Min, Nam-Gi (Pollution Response Department, Mokpo Coast Guard) ;
  • Im, Sung-Huk (Pollution Response Department, Mokpo Coast Guard) ;
  • Jeon, Sung-Gun (Pollution Response Department, Mokpo Coast Guard) ;
  • Kim, Hee-Sik (Pollution Response Department, Mokpo Coast Guard) ;
  • Kim, Young-Hwa (Pollution Response Department, Mokpo Coast Guard) ;
  • Kim, Gi-Hun (Pollution Response Department, Mokpo Coast Guard) ;
  • Chang, Sun-Hee (Pollution Response Department, Mokpo Coast Guard)
  • 조현진 (목포해양경찰서 해양오염방제과) ;
  • 김정엽 (목포해양경찰서 해양오염방제과) ;
  • 양문철 (목포해양경찰서 해양오염방제과) ;
  • 서광열 (목포해양경찰서 해양오염방제과) ;
  • 민남기 (목포해양경찰서 해양오염방제과) ;
  • 임승혁 (목포해양경찰서 해양오염방제과) ;
  • 전성근 (목포해양경찰서 해양오염방제과) ;
  • 김희식 (목포해양경찰서 해양오염방제과) ;
  • 김영화 (목포해양경찰서 해양오염방제과) ;
  • 김지훈 (목포해양경찰서 해양오염방제과) ;
  • 장선희 (목포해양경찰서 해양오염방제과)
  • Received : 2009.09.10
  • Accepted : 2009.11.24
  • Published : 2009.11.25


Approximately 12,547 kL of oil from the tanker 'Hebei Spirit' released into the western sea of Korea, which subsequently reached and covered extensive areas of the western coastlines of Korea. In the following days great numbers of tar balls hit the southwestern coast. Three different cleanup methods were used to mediate the southwestern coastline tar ball pollution by Korea Coast Guard (KCG) net setting, manual pick up, and sweeping them up. Net setting was useful in protecting coastlines from being hit by tar balls. The cold weather in winter conditions helped the tar ball response efforts because it caused them to harden, allowing them to be swept up from beaches and to be gathered up by hand.


  1. Chandru, K., Skaria, M. P., Anita, S., Shahbazi, A., Sakari, M., Bahry, P. S. and Mohamad, Che. A. R., 2008, "Characterization of alkanes, hopanes, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in tar balls collected from the East Coast of Peninsular Malaysia", Mar. Pollut. Bull., Vol. 56, 950-962.
  2. Del Sontro, T. S., Leifer, I., Luyendyk, B. P. and Broitman, B. R., 2007, "Beach tar accumulation, transport mechanisms, and sources of variability at Coal Oil Point, California", Mar. Pollut. Bull., Vol. 5, 1461-1471.
  3. Dutta, T. K. and Harayama, S., 2000, "Fate of crude oil by the combination of photooxidation and biodegradation", Environ. Sci Technol 34: 1500-1505.
  4. Goodman, R., 2003, "Tar balls: The end state", Spill Sci. & Tech. Bull., Vol. 8, 117-121.
  5. Hegazi, A. H., Andersson, J. T., Abu-Elgheit, M. A. and El-Gayar, M. Sh., 2004, "Source diagnostic and weathering indicators of tar balls utilizing acyclic, polycyclic and S-heterocyclic components", Chemosphere, Vol. 55, 1053-1065.
  6. International Tanker Owners Pollution Federation Ltd. (ITOPF), 1998, "Response to marine oil spills", Korea Marine Oil Spill Response Trade Association, Korean Version.
  7. Korea Coast Guard (KCG), 2008, "Report of urgent response to tar balls", Dep. of Pollution Response, Mokpo Coast Guard, Korea (in Korean).
  8. Korea Research Institute of Chemical Technology (KRICT), 2008, "Report of tar ball analysis" Alternative Chemical/Fuel Research Center, Seoul (in Korean).
  9. National Oceanographic Research Institute (NORI), 2007, (in Korean) (Apr. 20, 2008).
  10. Owens, E. H., Mauseth, G. S., Martin, C. A., Lamarche, A. and Brown J., 2002, "Tar ball frequency data and analytical results from a long-term beach monitoring program" Mar. Pollut. Bull., Vol. 44, 770-780.
  11. Prince, R. C., Garrett, R. M., Bare, R. E., Grossman, M. J., Townsend, T., Suflita, J. M., Lee, K., Ownds, E. H., Sergy, G. A., Braddock, J. F., Lindstrom, J. E. and Lessard, R. R., 2003, "The roles of photooxidation and biodegradation in long-term weathering of crude and heavy fuel oils", Spill Sci. & Tech. Bull., Vol. 8, 145-456.
  12. Wang, S. D., Shen, Y. M., Guo, Y. K. and Tang, J., 2008, "Three-dimensional numerical simulation for transport of oil spills in seas", Ocean Eng., Vol. 35, 503-510.
  13. Xie, H., Yapa, P. D. and Nakata, K., 2007, "Modeling emulsification after an oil spill in the sea", J. Mar. Sys., Vol. 68, 489-506.