Chemical and Biological Aspects of Ocean Dumping at the Puerto Rico Dumpsite
Chemical and biological studies at the Puerto Rico Ocean Dump-site during February 1978 are reported. Dye and various chemical and biological parameters were measured with time within the waste plume after the dumps. Several parameters (e.g., ammonia, POC, DOC, volatile organics, and transmissometry traces) were elevated in the waste plume compared to the baseline values and were, therefore, very useful in tracking the dispersion of the waste.
The volatile organics constitute the major non-aqueous fraction of the waste. Butanol and dimethyl aniline constitute about 70% of this fraction. Dimethyl aniline was very persistent in the dumpsite having a concentration of 0.1 μg·1−1 three days after dumping. Evaporation studies indicate that benzene and toluene concentrations decrease to background levels within 12 hrs following dumping. Many hydrocarbons, halocarbons, alcohols, esters, ketones and nitrogen compounds were identified in the waste and surface waters of the dumpsite.
Phytoplankton studies indicate no significant differences existed between samples taken from similar depths inside or outside of the dumpsite. Laboratory toxicity tests using 14C uptake and ATP indicate that 0.14% of the composite waste causes a 76% decrease in growth of the phytoplankton Skeletonema costatum.
KeywordsBiological Aspect Skeletonema Costatum Toluene Concentration Methyl Isobutyl Ketone Ethyl Mercaptan
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