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Presence of Oil Mineral Aggregates (OMAs) in Surface Sediments from Mexico’s Exclusive Economic Zone, NW Gulf of Mexico

Abstract

We assessed the presence and distribution of oil mineral aggregates (OMAs) in surficial sediments of Mexican waters in the NW Gulf of Mexico, their potential sources and their correlation with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH). In summer of 2010, OMAs were detected in three shallow sites. In winter of 2011, OMAs were observed in ten sites, two of them in the northernmost area at > 1500 m depth. These particles were possibly advected from the north Gulf and Mississippi area following the deep-water currents of the zone. The OMAs from shallower sites may reflect local pollution sources. PAHs displayed low concentrations in both surveys (from 0.01 to 0.7 µg g−1 in summer, and from 0.01 to 0.51 µg g−1 in winter), and showed rather a local origin. The expansion of the oil and port industry in the region is accountable for most of the OMAs detected.

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Acknowledgements

We would like to thank Sergio Licea for providing the fluorescence microscope facility. Our appreciation to the members of the Benthic Ecology Laboratory: Karla Sierra, Mariana Tapia and Karina Arvizu for their help in the sample processing. Many thanks to the crew of the R/V. Justo Sierra for their support during the MARZEE monitoring program. Funds for this project were provided by the Instituto Nacional de Ecología y Cambio Climático (INECC).

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Correspondence to Diana L. Salcedo.

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Zubillaga, A., Soto, L.A., Salcedo, D.L. et al. Presence of Oil Mineral Aggregates (OMAs) in Surface Sediments from Mexico’s Exclusive Economic Zone, NW Gulf of Mexico. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 101, 173–177 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00128-018-2396-3

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Keywords

  • Oil mineral aggregates
  • Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons
  • NW Gulf of Mexico