Analyses of Aromatic Hydrocarbons in Intertidal Sediments Resulting from Two Spills of No. 2 Fuel Oil in Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts Academic Article uri icon


  • We have analyzed the two- and three-ring aromatic hydrocarbons from the Wild Harbor oil spill in September 1969 and the Winsor Cove oil spill in October 1974, in intertidal marsh sediments, using glass capillary gas-chromatographic and mass-fragmentographic analyses. Naphthalenes with 0–3 alkyl substitutions and phenanthrenes with 0–2 substitutions decreased in concentration with time in surface sediments. The more substituted aromatics decreased relatively less and in some cases actually increased in absolute concentration. The changes in composition of the aromatic fraction have potential consequences for the ecosystem and provide insight into geochemical processes of oil weathering. Key words: oil pollution, aromatic hydrocarbons; gas chromatography; gas chromatography–mass spectrometry; geochemistry; marsh; sediments; oil spills

publication date

  • May 1, 1978