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Glossary

Accidental pollution

Pollution which results from a sudden event, independently of human will.

Adsorption

Physicochemical phenomenon in which a chemical accumulates on the surface of a solid (at its interface with air, water…) or any other liquid or gaseous fluid.

Anti-adherent

Agent designed to stop a pollutant from sticking in the areas where it is applied before the pollution arrives.

Aromatic

Property of a compound which contains one or more benzene rings, which give it a particular smell, an “aroma” (e.g. hydrocarbons).

Asphalt

A sticky, black, highly viscous liquid or semi-solid composed almost entirely of bitumen, used for surfacing roads and for waterproofing.

Balise

Émetteur radioélectrique positionné par satellite, qui permet le repérage d’une nappe de pétrole.

Ballast

Compartment of a vessel which can be filled, or partially filled, with water to stabilise the vessel.

Barrel

Unit of measurement (volume) used for petroleum and its products (around 159 litres).

Beach depletion

According to the sedimentary cycle of the shore, at the beginning of winter, the sand moves down the beach. This process is known as beach depletion.

Beach growth

According to the sedimentary cycle of the shore, before summer the sand migrates up the beach. This process is known as beach growth.

Last update: 17/04/2014