Examining natural attenuation and acute toxicity of petroleum-derived dissolved organic matter with optical spectroscopy

Environmental Science & Technology
By: , and 

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Abstract

Groundwater samples containing petroleum-derived dissolved organic matter (DOMHC) originating from the north oil body within the National Crude Oil Spill Fate and Natural Attenuation Research Site near Bemidji, MN, USA were analyzed by optical spectroscopic techniques (i.e., absorbance and fluorescence) to assess relationships that can be used to examine natural attenuation and toxicity of DOMHC in contaminated groundwater. A strong correlation between the concentration of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and absorbance at 254 nm (a254) along a transect of the DOMHCplume indicates that a254 can be used to quantitatively assess natural attenuation of DOMHC. Fluorescence components, identified by parallel factor (PARAFAC) analysis, show that the composition of the DOMHC beneath and adjacent to the oil body is dominated by aliphatic, low O/C compounds (“protein-like” fluorescence) and that the composition gradually evolves to aromatic, high O/C compounds (“humic-/fulvic-like” fluorescence) as a function of distance downgradient from the oil body. Finally, a direct, positive correlation between optical properties and Microtox acute toxicity assays demonstrates the utility of these combined techniques in assessing the spatial and temporal natural attenuation and toxicity of the DOMHC in petroleum-impacted groundwater systems.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Examining natural attenuation and acute toxicity of petroleum-derived dissolved organic matter with optical spectroscopy
Series title Environmental Science & Technology
DOI 10.1021/acs.est.8b00016
Volume 52
Issue 11
Year Published 2018
Language English
Publisher American Chemical Society
Contributing office(s) National Research Program - Eastern Branch
Description 10 p.
First page 6157
Last page 6166