Phase distribution of hydrocarbons in the water column after a pelagic deep ocean oil spill

Saioa Elordui-Zapatarietxe, Antoni Rosell-Melé, Núria Moraleda, Imma Tolosa, Joan Albaigés

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Spills from wrecks are a potential major source of pollution in the deep ocean. However, not much is known about the fate of a spill at several kilometers depth, beyond the oceans continental shelves. Here, we report the phase distribution of hydrocarbons released from the wrecks of the Prestige tanker, several years after it sank in November 2002 to depths between 3500 and 3800. m. The released oil reached the surface waters above the wrecks without any signs of weathering and leaving an homogenous signature throughout the water column. At depths of several kilometers below the sea surface, the occurrence and spread of the deep sea oil spill could be evaluated better by quantifying and characterizing the dissolved hydrocarbon signature, rather than just the investigation of hydrocarbons in the suspended particulate matter. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1667-1673
JournalMarine Pollution Bulletin
Volume60
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2010

Keywords

  • Deep sea oil spill
  • Dissolved phase
  • Hydrocarbons
  • Northeastern Atlantic
  • PAHs
  • Prestige

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