Significant spatial variability of bioavailable PAHs in water column and sediment porewater in the Gulf of Mexico 1 year after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill
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One year after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill accident, semipermeable membrane devices (SPMDs) and polyethylene devices (PEDs) were deployed in wetland areas and coastal areas of the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) to monitor polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). The measured PAH levels with the PEDs in coastal areas were 0.05–1.9 ng/L in water and 0.03–9.7 ng/L in sediment porewater. With the SPMDs, the measured PAH levels in wetlands (Barataria Bay) were 1.4–73 ng/L in water and 3.3–107 ng/L in porewater. The total PAH concentrations in the coastal areas were close to the reported baseline PAH concentrations in GOM; however, the total PAH concentrations in the wetland areas were one or two orders of magnitude higher than those reported in the coastal areas. In light of the significant spatial variability of PAHs in the Gulf’s environments, baseline information on PAHs should be obtained in specific areas periodically.
KeywordsDeepwater Horizon oil spill Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons Semipermeable membrane devices Polyethylene devices Risk assessment
The authors are grateful for the financial support from the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative’s “Short-Term Continuing and Emergent Observations and Sampling (GRI III).”
This study was funded by the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative’s “Short-Term Continuing and Emergent Observations and Sampling (GRI III),” project title: Application of Passive Samplers to Monitor PAHs Concentrations in Water, Sediment Porewater, Sediment, and Commercially Important Organisms in the Gulf of Mexico in Order to Quantify Site-Specific, Chronic Damages to the Natural Resources.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no competing of interests.
Human and animal rights and informed consent
This study did not involve human participants and animals.
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