Monday, 28 February 2011

The West Falmouth oil spill: Hydrocarbons in the salt marsh ecosystem*1

Kathryn A. Burns and John M. TealCorresponding Author Contact Information
Marine Chemistry Unit, Ministry for Conservation, 7b Parliament Place, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia 3002
Biology Department, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, Massachusetts, U.S.A. 02543
Received 25 January 1978;  
Revised 10 May 1978.  
Available online 30 November 2004. 


Marsh surface sediments, cores, and organisms were analysed for hydrocarbons from one to seven years after the spill in September 1969 of No. 2 fuel oil at West Falmouth, Massachusetts. All organisms analysed showed contamination initially.Fundulus were nearly free of oil after one year but Uca remained heavily contaminated for at least four years. Alkanes disappeared in sediments after about 4 years while heavy aromatics and naphthenes persisted throughout the study.
Author Keywords: oil spills; hydrocarbons; petroleum; salt marsh; marine pollution; Massachusetts coast

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Corresponding Author Contact InformationCorresponding author. To whom reprint requests should be sent.
*1 Contribution No. 4084 from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. Funds were provided by grants from the Victoria Foundation, Bureau of Commercial Fisheries Fish and Wildlife Grant No. 14-17-007-1128(G), and N.S.F. Grant No. GA-40987.