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Hydrocarbons and sterols in marine sediments and soils at Davis Station, Antarctica: a survey for human derived contaminants


Green, GJ and Nichols, PD, Hydrocarbons and sterols in marine sediments and soils at Davis Station, Antarctica: a survey for human derived contaminants, Antarctic Science, 7, (2) pp. 137-144. ISSN 0954-1020 (1995) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1017/S0954102095000198


A survey of hydrocarbons and sterols in marine and shoreline sediments was undertaken adjacent to Davis Station in Princess Elizabeth Land, Prydz Bay, Eastern Antarctica to determine the impact of a human settlement, including a sewage outfall on the local marine environment. Soil samples from selected locations onshore were also analysed to ascertain the extent of hydrocarbon contamination emanating from fuel storage facilities and other potential sources. The faecal sterol coprostanol was detected at 13.2 ug g-1 (60% of total sterols) in sediment adjacent to the Davis sewage outfall and up to 5.0ug g-1 on the shoreline at Davis Beach. These concentrations indicate significant faecal contamination. The absence of coprostanol in faeces from the local wildlife confirms a human origin for this sewage biomarker. Hydrocarbons on the shoreline near Davis were present at up to 5.5ug g-1 (dry weight of sediment). Biomarker profiles indicate an anthropogenic origin for these hydrocarbons. Onshore, degraded hydrocarbons derived from Special Antarctic Blend distillate were found at relatively high levels in soils at the fuel storage depot (up to 220 ug g-1). The source of these hydrocarbons appeared to be spillage from fuel storage tanks with possible contributions from fuel pipeline leakage and vehicle useage. Concentrations of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in the soils were very low, generally below 1 ng g-1(dry weight of sediment) for individual compounds. © 1995, Antarctic Science Ltd. All rights reserved.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Biochemistry and cell biology
Research Field:Analytical biochemistry
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the environmental sciences
UTAS Author:Green, GJ (Mr Graham James Green)
UTAS Author:Nichols, PD (Dr Peter Nichols)
ID Code:4457
Year Published:1995
Web of Science® Times Cited:63
Deposited By:IASOS
Deposited On:1995-08-01
Last Modified:2011-08-22

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