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J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2015, 3(3), 1136-1148; doi:10.3390/jmse3031136

Oil Characterization and Distribution in Florida Estuary Sediments Following the Deepwater Horizon Spill

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Gulf Ecology Division, 1 Sabine Island Drive, Gulf Breeze, FL 32561, USA
These authors contributed equally to this work.
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Merv Fingas
Received: 22 July 2015 / Accepted: 17 September 2015 / Published: 23 September 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Oil Spills)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [4130 KB, uploaded 23 September 2015]   |  

Abstract

Barrier islands of Northwest Florida were heavily oiled during the Deepwater Horizon spill, but less is known about the impacts to the shorelines of the associated estuaries. Shoreline sediment oiling was investigated at 18 sites within the Pensacola Bay, Florida system prior to impact, during peak oiling, and post-wellhead capping. Only two locations closest to the Gulf of Mexico had elevated levels of total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPH) and total polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). These samples showed a clear weathered crude oil signature, pattern of depletion of C9 to C19 alkanes and C0 to C4 naphthalenes, and geochemical biomarker ratios in concordance with weathered Macondo crude oil. All other locations and sample times showed only trace petroleum contamination. The results of this study are consistent with available satellite imagery and visual shoreline survey data showing heavy shoreline oiling limited to sandy beaches near the entrance to Pensacola Bay and shorelines of Santa Rosa Island. View Full-Text
Keywords: oil; geochemical biomarkers; Deepwater Horizon; Pensacola Bay; polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons oil; geochemical biomarkers; Deepwater Horizon; Pensacola Bay; polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Barron, M.G.; Awkerman, J.; Raimondo, S. Oil Characterization and Distribution in Florida Estuary Sediments Following the Deepwater Horizon Spill. J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2015, 3, 1136-1148.

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