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Weathered Tarballs in Southern California, Santa Monica Bay to Dana Point, CA

Santa Monica Bay to Dana Point, CA | 2022-May-06

Initial Notification: A broad and prolonged period of tarballing (since early March) along the shores of Santa Monica Bay south to Dana Point has prompted many public reports and numerous sampling events to determine possible sources. Most tarballs were described as moderately to heavily weathered and analysis indicates they are chemically consistent with natural seep oil. Many natural seeps are well known to be active in areas of Santa Barbara Channel to Santa Monica Bay. Given the broad geographic spread of tarballs and the heightened public awareness of shoreline oiling from recent spills, CAL OSPR contacted the NOAA SSC around mid-day on 07-MAY-2022 to request trajectory-related information for some public outreach materials.

Incident Details
Primary threat:Oil
Latitude (approximate): 33° 32.78′ North
Longitude (approximate): 118° 13.10′ West