Geochemical changes in crude oil spilled from the Exxon Valdez supertanker into Prince William Sound, Alaska

Organic Geochemistry
By:  and 

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Abstract

North Slope crude oil spilled from the T/V Exxon Valdez in March 1989 and contaminated about 500 km of Prince William Sound shoreline. Aliphatic and aromatic hydrocarbons in oil samples collected in August 1990 and June 1992 from beaches on six islands impacted by the spill have been compared with the hydrocarbons from North Slope crude oil taken from the stricken tanker. Degradation processes have changed the physical appearance of this residual spilled oil; the beached oil as collected ranged from a light brown color, to a heavy black viscous oil, to a black, powder-like residue. In these physically different samples, terpane, sterane, and aromatic sterane distributions, as well as carbon isotope values, are similar and correlate with the original Exxon Valdez oil. On the other hand, n-alkanes, isoprenoids, and many of the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons which are present in the original crude oil are dramatically altered in the oil samples collected from the beaches.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Geochemical changes in crude oil spilled from the Exxon Valdez supertanker into Prince William Sound, Alaska
Series title Organic Geochemistry
DOI 10.1016/0146-6380(94)90051-5
Volume 21
Issue 8-9
Year Published 1994
Language English
Publisher Elsevier
Contributing office(s) Coastal and Marine Geology Program
Description 10 p.
First page 927
Last page 936
Country United States
State Alaska
Other Geospatial Prince William Sound
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
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