Posted: February 19, 2013 in News

2012 The Awakening

10 March 2008

Large quantities of chemical weapons sit on the seafloor, slowly degrading and posing a hazard to fishers and ocean scientists who stumble upon these stockpiles, according to a recent article by MBARI ocean chemist Peter Brewer and Noriko Nakayama of University of Tokyo.

 

Oceanographers never know what types of old military hardware (and other trash) they will find on the seafloor. MBARI geologists captured this image showing fragments from two bombs on seafloor off the coast of Oahu, Hawaii. Image:(c) 2001 MBARI

After World War II, between 1946 and 1972, many countries dumped these outdated chemical weapons on the seafloor. In 1972, they signed the London Convention forbidding further ocean disposal. Although some disposal sites have been well-studied, little is known about the exact location or contents of most disposal sites on the West Coast of the U.S.

Chemical munitions used in World War II included…

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