Environmental Geochemistry and Health

, Volume 41, Issue 2, pp 817–828 | Cite as

Evaluation of the diagnostic ratios of adamantanes for identifying seriously weathered spilled oils from simulated experiment and actual oil spills

  • Bin HanEmail author
  • Li Zheng
  • Qian Li
  • Faxiang Lin
  • Yu Ding
Original Paper


The composition and physical properties of spilled oil have great changes during the seriously weathering process. It brings great difficulties to the source identification of oil spill. So the stable and trustworthy diagnostic ratios (DRs) for accurate identification of severely weathered spilled oils are very important. The explosion of Sinopec pipeline happened on November 22, 2013 at Qingdao, China. Local beaches at Jiaozhou Bay were polluted by spilled oils. We have collected original spilled oil samples from an area free from human interference near the oil leakage point after the accident. Synchronized with actual beach weathering, laboratory experiments were conducted to simulate oil weathering for 360 days by using the collected original spilled oil samples. Based on t test and the repeatability limit method, 50 diagnostic ratios (DRs) of adamantanes were screened. Four DRs, namely 1,3-dimethyladamantane/total dimethyladamantane, 1-methyladamantane/(1-methyladamantane + 1,3-dimethyladamantane), dialkyl diamantane/total diamantane, and diamantane/(diamantane + dialkyl diamantane), have maintained remarkable stability during the simulated weathering experiments and field weathering process. These stable ratios can retain the characteristics of oil source during weathering. They are very beneficial to improve the accuracy of identifying the source of severely weathered oil and can be used as an effective supplement to existing index system for source identification.


Oil spill identification Adamantanes Diagnostic ratios Gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC–MS) 



This work was financially supported by Basic Scientific Fund for National Public Research Institutes of China (2017Q05) and China-ASEAN Maritime Cooperation Fund: East Asia Marine Cooperation Platform, the project of the National Key Research and Development Program (2016YFC0503602).


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© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Key Laboratory for Marine Bioactive Substances and Modern Analytical Technology, First Institute of OceanographyState Oceanic AdministrationQingdaoChina
  2. 2.Laboratory for Marine Ecology and Environmental ScienceQingdao National Laboratory for Marine Science and TechnologyQingdaoChina

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