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A Tale of Two Recent Spills — Comparison of 2014 Galveston Bay and 2010 Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Residues

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

ABSTRACT

Managing oil spill residues washing onto sandy beaches is a common worldwide environmental problem. In this study, we have analyzed the first-arrival oil spill residues collected from two Gulf of Mexico (GOM) beach systems following two recent oil spills: the 2014 Galveston Bay (GB) oil spill, and the 2010 Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill. This is the first study to provide field observations and chemical characterization data for the 2014 GB oil spill. Here we compare the physical and chemical characteristics of GB oil spill samples with DWH oil spill samples and present their similarities and differences. Our field observations indicate that both oil spills had similar shoreline deposition patterns; however, their physical and chemical characteristics differed considerably. We highlight these differences, discuss their implications, and interpret GB data in light of lessons learned from previously published DWH oil spill studies. These analyses are further used to assess the long-term fate of GB oil spill residues and their potential environmental impacts.

No MeSH data available.


Comparison of extracted ion chromatograms of hopanes (m/z of 191) for Galveston Bay and Deepwater Horizon oil spill residues.
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pone.0118098.g006: Comparison of extracted ion chromatograms of hopanes (m/z of 191) for Galveston Bay and Deepwater Horizon oil spill residues.

Mentions: In this study we focused on the biomarker fingerprints of hopanes and steranes, which are the most widely used compounds for fingerprinting oil spill accidents [14,18]. Recently, Aeppli et al. [19] compared the fate of biomarkers in DWH oil spill residues and concluded that hopanes and steranes, quantified at m/z values of 191 and 217, respectively, are the most reliable signatures for fingerprinting DWH oil spill residues. Fig. 6 shows GC/MS chromatograms of hopanes (at m/z 191) present in GB and DWH residues. The total amount of hopanes in GB and DWH samples were estimated to be 380±30 mg/kg oil and 440±20 mg/kg oil, respectively. Analysis of hopane chromatograms show that in the DWH sample, hopane distribution ranged from C27 to C35 with C30αβ-hopane being the most abundant compound. The GB chromatogram, on the other hand, showed higher abundance of C29αβ and C30αβ hopanes; also, the response levels are higher for several other possible tricyclic or tetracyclic terpanes, yielding a wider fingerprint (see Fig. 6). It is well established that C30αβ-hopane is highly resistant to environmental weathering [14,19,20]; thus, the amount of C30αβ-hopane will increase over time, and this effect can be used to estimate the degree of weathering [12]. Furthermore, C30αβ-hopane can also be used as a recalcitrant internal biomarker for quantifying the degradation rates of other chemical compounds [20]. In this study, we estimated the concentrations of C30αβ-hopane in the GB residue as 81±6 mg/kg oil. The concentration of C30αβ-hopane in the DWH residue has already been reported in Mulabagal et al. [12] as 91±6 mg/kg oil. These concentration levels can be used as a starting point for understanding future weathering patterns of these oil residues.


A Tale of Two Recent Spills — Comparison of 2014 Galveston Bay and 2010 Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Residues
Comparison of extracted ion chromatograms of hopanes (m/z of 191) for Galveston Bay and Deepwater Horizon oil spill residues.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4340883&req=5

pone.0118098.g006: Comparison of extracted ion chromatograms of hopanes (m/z of 191) for Galveston Bay and Deepwater Horizon oil spill residues.
Mentions: In this study we focused on the biomarker fingerprints of hopanes and steranes, which are the most widely used compounds for fingerprinting oil spill accidents [14,18]. Recently, Aeppli et al. [19] compared the fate of biomarkers in DWH oil spill residues and concluded that hopanes and steranes, quantified at m/z values of 191 and 217, respectively, are the most reliable signatures for fingerprinting DWH oil spill residues. Fig. 6 shows GC/MS chromatograms of hopanes (at m/z 191) present in GB and DWH residues. The total amount of hopanes in GB and DWH samples were estimated to be 380±30 mg/kg oil and 440±20 mg/kg oil, respectively. Analysis of hopane chromatograms show that in the DWH sample, hopane distribution ranged from C27 to C35 with C30αβ-hopane being the most abundant compound. The GB chromatogram, on the other hand, showed higher abundance of C29αβ and C30αβ hopanes; also, the response levels are higher for several other possible tricyclic or tetracyclic terpanes, yielding a wider fingerprint (see Fig. 6). It is well established that C30αβ-hopane is highly resistant to environmental weathering [14,19,20]; thus, the amount of C30αβ-hopane will increase over time, and this effect can be used to estimate the degree of weathering [12]. Furthermore, C30αβ-hopane can also be used as a recalcitrant internal biomarker for quantifying the degradation rates of other chemical compounds [20]. In this study, we estimated the concentrations of C30αβ-hopane in the GB residue as 81±6 mg/kg oil. The concentration of C30αβ-hopane in the DWH residue has already been reported in Mulabagal et al. [12] as 91±6 mg/kg oil. These concentration levels can be used as a starting point for understanding future weathering patterns of these oil residues.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

ABSTRACT

Managing oil spill residues washing onto sandy beaches is a common worldwide environmental problem. In this study, we have analyzed the first-arrival oil spill residues collected from two Gulf of Mexico (GOM) beach systems following two recent oil spills: the 2014 Galveston Bay (GB) oil spill, and the 2010 Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill. This is the first study to provide field observations and chemical characterization data for the 2014 GB oil spill. Here we compare the physical and chemical characteristics of GB oil spill samples with DWH oil spill samples and present their similarities and differences. Our field observations indicate that both oil spills had similar shoreline deposition patterns; however, their physical and chemical characteristics differed considerably. We highlight these differences, discuss their implications, and interpret GB data in light of lessons learned from previously published DWH oil spill studies. These analyses are further used to assess the long-term fate of GB oil spill residues and their potential environmental impacts.

No MeSH data available.