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The rate of removal and the compositional changes of diesel in Antarctic marine sediment


Woolfenden, ENM and Hince, G and Powell, SM and Stark, SC and Snape, I and Stark, JS and George, SC, The rate of removal and the compositional changes of diesel in Antarctic marine sediment, The Science of The Total Environment: An International Journal for Scientific Research Into The Environment and Its Relationship With Man, 410-411, (Online) pp. 205-216. ISSN 0048-9697 (2011) [Refereed Article]

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DOI: doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2011.09.013


Diesels and lubricants used at research stations can persist in terrestrial and marine sediments for decades, but knowledge of their effects on the surrounding environments is limited. In a 5 year in situ investigation, marine sediment spiked with Special Antarctic Blend (SAB) diesel was placed on the seabed of O'Brien Bay near Casey Station, Antarctica and sampled after 5, 56, 65, 104 and 260 weeks. The rates and possible mechanisms of removal of the diesel from the marine sediments are presented here. The hydrocarbons within the spiked sediment were removed at an overall rate of 4.7 mg total petroleum hydrocarbons kg−1 sediment week−1, or 245 mg kg−1 year−1, although seasonal variation was evident. The concentration of total petroleum hydrocarbons fell markedly from 2020340 mg kg−1 to 800190 mg kg−1, but after 5 years the spiked sediment was still contaminated relative to natural organic matter (160 170 mg kg−1). Specific compounds in SAB diesel preferentially decreased in concentration, but not as would be expected if biodegradation was the sole mechanism responsible. Naphthalene was removed more readily than n-alkanes, suggesting that aqueous dissolution played a major role in the reduction of SAB diesel. 1,3,5,7- Teramethyladamantane and 1,3-dimethyladamantane were the most recalcitrant isomers in the spiked marine sediment. Dissolution of aromatic compounds from marine sediment increases the availability of more soluble, aromatic compounds in the water column. This could increase the area of contamination and potentially broaden the region impacted by ecotoxicological effects from shallow sediment dwelling fauna, as noted during biodegradation, to shallow (b19 m) water dwelling fauna.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Environmental Sciences
Research Group:Environmental management
Research Field:Environmental assessment and monitoring
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Management of Antarctic and Southern Ocean environments
Objective Field:Management of Antarctic and Southern Ocean environments not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Powell, SM (Dr Shane Powell)
ID Code:73095
Year Published:2011
Web of Science® Times Cited:9
Deposited By:Agricultural Science
Deposited On:2011-09-12
Last Modified:2012-05-17
Downloads:2 View Download Statistics

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