Bill & Jim's Alaska Trip

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July 9

Bridal Veil Falls

Horsetail Falls

Trans Alaska Pipeline

Pipeline support

Floating Berth

Kenai being filled

North of Valdez is Keystone Canyon. Bridal Veil and Horsetail are two of the more notable waterfalls visible from the road. The Worthington Glacier is also along the road north of Valdez, but weather conditions did not permit a good picture of it.

The Trans Alaska Pipeline starts in Prudhoe Bay in the Beaufort Sea of the Arctic Ocean and runs south for 800 miles, delivering up to 2 million barrels of oil every day to Valdez at the Marine Terminal. The insulated 48-inch pipe is carried on supports that are driven into the permafrost. To ensure that the permafrost is not melted, many of the supports have 'heat pipes' that remove heat from the ground whenever the air temperature is ower than the ground temperature.

We went on the Alyeska Marine Terminal tour today. Oil tankers are loaded here at rates up to 100,000 barrels of oil per hour. They have several berths of varying sizes. The smallest is a floating berth and can accomodate tankers up to about 500,000 barrels of oil. The other two sizes of berths (not floating) can fill tankers up to 900,000 and 2,000,000 barrels of oil, respectively. We saw the Kenai, a mid-size tanker getting filled with 850,000 barrels of crude oil. One of the most impressive things about the facility is the great lengths they go to ensure that no significant quantities of oil get spilled into the Sound.
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