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Crude oil spills are one of the most destructive disasters that can occur, and they are extremely difficult to recover from. Many studies focus on what can be done to clean these crude oil spills, but more research should be focused on means of prevention. Currently, very little is known about how the moisture content levels and the packing efficiency of soil can affect an oil spill. These two factors alone can offer a variety of information to environmental agencies, manufacturers, and refineries. Through utilization of a chemical engineering lab, a recording mechanism, and ImagePro software, data was collected and analyzed. This study simulated, on a small scale, the conditions of an oil spill. The study focused on the differences in the oil spill spreads for petri dishes containing various moisture content levels and packing levels. Each dish contained the same percentages of soil, clay, and sand. The first major finding was that areas with high levels of moisture are more likely to have separable spills and are not likely to experience spills in which the oil penetrates the soil extensively. The second finding was that areas with densely packed soil are less likely to be susceptible to deep penetrating oil spreads. The last finding was that drier areas will experience rapid rates of spreading. The conclusion was made that water or compactness caused an interruption in travel time or space for the oil and led to a decline in the areas of the spreads for dishes with those variables.



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