The authors report evidence confirming the suggestion that the partial dissolution in seawater of fuel oil hydrocarbons is important in the degradation of this petroleum product in the marine environment. Their experiments show that hydrocarbon solubility affects uptake and retention of fuel oil by marine sediments and that organic matter in sediments reduces the incorporation of fuel oil into the sediment samples investigated. Once incorporated into sediments, lipoid materials such as fuel oil would not be returned quickly to the overlying water. Because the association forces are weak, however, biological activity and dissolution could slowly release these bound compounds. If dissolution were dominant, then the more polar aromatic hydrocarbons would be released more readily. Due to their relatively high toxicity, these petroleum compounds could impose a continuing stress upon marine organisms long after visual evidence of oil pollution had disappeared.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Revision of report dated 11 Sep 72. Pub. in Nature, v244 n5410 p23-24, 6 Jul 73.
  • Corporate Authors:

    University of Rhode Island, Kingston

    Graduate School of Oceanography
    Kingston, RI  United States  02881
  • Authors:
    • Myers, P A
    • Quinn, J G
  • Publication Date: 1973-2-26

Media Info

  • Pagination: 7 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00053928
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: National Technical Information Service
  • Report/Paper Numbers: Marine Reprint-6
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: May 7 1974 12:00AM