Air Samples from Summer 2010 Show low molecular weight PAH distributions similar to Deepwater Horizon oil spill

For those of you who have been following this blog, you know that we went to the Gulf of Mexico last summer to collect air and water samples. Well, the analyses of last year's samples are complete and here is what we have to say. First, the PAH distribution pattern for the BP oil from the DWH oil slick is distinct from other oil seeps we analyzed in the Gulf of Mexico. Second, the PAH distributions across the environmental samples collected from the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 are visually comparable and similar across the Gulf Coast region. Lastly, the environmental samples are enriched in low molecular weight PAH compounds.

We are going out again in a few weeks to repeat our field work, this time, without the presence of large oil slicks. In short, we expect the environmental samples to be different in their PAH distributions.

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 1047736. Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recomendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation (NSF).