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Piggyback - tar on the beach?
Old 07-23-2019, 05:30 PM
  #1

Please tell me about tar on the beach! Is it mixed with the sand? We live about 15 minutes from the beach and I have never seen anything like that. We have been to other beaches as well (in FL) and I have never experienced it on those either.

Thanks!

Nancy


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Not Florida, but....
Old 07-23-2019, 05:37 PM
  #2

Oooooh, I remember tar spots on my feet occasionally after a day at the beach. My dad “washed” them off with turpentine.
Quote:
Petroleum seeps occur across the world in areas rich in underground reserve of oil. Some seeps are located on land, like the famous La Brea Tar Pits, but Santa Barbara's seep is located underwater. As the oil reserve leaks through the seep conduit—at the rate of 100 to 150 barrels of liquid petroleum per day—the oil droplets merge on the surface to form oil slicks. Exposed to the elements, the oil slicks eventually degrade into tar, which gets carried to the beaches of the central coast with the tides.

It is due to the weather and ocean patterns that tar deposits are greater in the summer and fall when waves are smaller and the winds aren't as strong, thus allowing the oil slicks to degrade slowly in the calm waters and warm sun. In the winter months, bigger waves break up the slicks and prevent them from turning into tar. The high surf also tends to remove beach sand, causing the beaches to be narrower, steeper, and less likely to collect tar.
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Old 07-23-2019, 05:38 PM
  #3

Where I am it is not mixed with the sand. You can see it lying on top - sometimes it looks like little black pebbles or rocks. It is not on all beaches, nor is it always there. But some days - like yesterday - I come back and the soles of my feet are black with tar. If I had been paying more attention I would have realized it as I was walking and walked farther away from the water. We have some oil rigs off our coastline so that's part of the problem.
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Old 07-23-2019, 05:43 PM
  #4

Thanks for the info, Amiga! I've never actually looked at the reasons it happens. I just get annoyed when it does. I have a pair of beach shoes that I keep in the car so I don't bring the tar in the house.
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Old 07-23-2019, 06:11 PM
  #5

Thanks for asking Nancy! I was curious too. I haven't experienced this either and was wondering about it.

Thanks for the info Amiga!


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Old 07-23-2019, 06:18 PM
  #6

Interesting info Amiga! I remember getting tar on my feet when I was a kid. Haven’t experienced it in quite awhile but that may be because I don’t spend much time at the beach these days
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1969 oil spill
Old 07-23-2019, 07:53 PM
  #7

The beaches that I visited were also badly affected by an oil spill in the Santa Barbara Channel. There were major drilling platforms off the coast. The residue lasted for years as well as the situation that Amiga referenced.

Last edited by luvmycat; 07-23-2019 at 08:25 PM..
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Old 07-23-2019, 09:30 PM
  #8

I had totally forgotten about tar on the beach until this post. I remember it as a child but not as an adult, and I did live close to a beach for many years.

Interesting info, Amiga!
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Old 07-24-2019, 03:34 AM
  #9

I have often wondered about this too. I've seen tips for cleaning tar off your feet at the beach, and had no idea what that really meant. I've never experienced it on East Coast beaches.
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