Hydrocarbon incorporation into the salt marsh ecosystem from the West Falmouth oil spill


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dc.contributor.author Burns, Kathryn A.
dc.contributor.author Teal, John M.
dc.coverage.spatial Buzzards Bay, MA
dc.coverage.spatial West Falmouth, MA
dc.date.accessioned 2011-12-02T16:05:40Z
dc.date.available 2011-12-02T16:05:40Z
dc.date.issued 1971-11
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/1912/4914
dc.description Originally issued as Reference No. 71-69, series later renamed WHOI-. en_US
dc.description.abstract The oil barge "Florida" ran aground just off Little Island, West Falmouth, Massachusetts on September 16, 1969. About 175,000 gallons of Number Two fuel oil leaked into Buzzards Bay and the adjacent Wild Harbor Marsh. This report presents the results of analyses done on marsh muds and organisms collected nearly a year after the spill. We studied the incorporation of polluting hydrocarbons into, and their movement through the marsh ecosystem. Analyses of surface muds agreed well with observations on plant growth. The dead areas were the most heavily polluted. A deep mud core in the dead area showed oil has penetrated to at least 70 cm. Virtually all the marsh organisms living in the contaminated area were affected by the oil at least to the extent that they accumulated oil hydrocarbons in their tissues. Our data suggest that two processes may occur as the oil passes through the marsh ecosystem. There may be a progressive loss in the straight chain hydrocarbons in relation to branched chain, cyclic and aromatic hydrocarbons. There also appears to be a selection for the higher boiling fractions of the contaminants higher up the food chain. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship Supported by the Bureau of Commercial Fisheries, Fish and Wildlife Service Grant No. 14-17-0007- 1128 (G) and The National Science Foundation Grant No. GA 28365. en_US
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.publisher Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution en_US
dc.relation.ispartofseries WHOI Technical Reports en_US
dc.relation.ispartofseries WHOI-71-69 en_US
dc.subject Oil pollution of the sea en_US
dc.subject Salt marsh ecology en_US
dc.title Hydrocarbon incorporation into the salt marsh ecosystem from the West Falmouth oil spill en_US
dc.type Technical Report en_US
dc.identifier.doi 10.1575/1912/4914

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