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Application of organic geochemistry to coastal tar residues from Central California

International Geology Review

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Abstract

Tar residues are common on the coastline of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. These coastal tar residues have been washed ashore and usually occur on headlands near the high-tide line. In this study, 18 coastal tar residues were collected and analyzed to determine their carbon isotopic compositions and the values of selected biomarker ratios. All of the residues have very heavy (13C-enriched) carbon isotopic compositions spanning a narrow range (??13C = -22.2 to -23.4???), and 28,30-bisnorhopane is present in all samples. These same geochemical characteristics are found in Monterey Formation oils from which the coastal tar residues were likely derived. These coastal residues could result from natural seeps or from accidental spills. Statistically the coastal tar residues can be organized into three groups, each of which may represent different spill or seep events. Seven samples of potential local representative sources for the tar residues were examined, but none could account for the coastal tars.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Application of organic geochemistry to coastal tar residues from Central California
Series title:
International Geology Review
Volume
42
Issue:
1
Year Published:
2000
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
International Geology Review
First page:
1
Last page:
14