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Results from a 15-year study on hydrocarbon concentrations in water and sediment from Admiralty Bay, King George Island, Antarctica

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  18 February 2009

Márcia C. Bícego*
Affiliation:
Laboratório de Química Orgânica Marinha, Instituto Oceanográfico da Universidade de São Paulo, 05508-900, São Paulo, Brazil
Eliete Zanardi-Lamardo
Affiliation:
Laboratório de Química Orgânica Marinha, Instituto Oceanográfico da Universidade de São Paulo, 05508-900, São Paulo, Brazil
Satie Taniguchi
Affiliation:
Laboratório de Química Orgânica Marinha, Instituto Oceanográfico da Universidade de São Paulo, 05508-900, São Paulo, Brazil
César C. Martins
Affiliation:
Centro de Estudos do Mar da Universidade Federal do Paraná, PO Box 50002, Pontal do Paraná, Paraná, Brazil
Denis A.M. da Silva
Affiliation:
Environmental Conservation Division, Northwest Fisheries Science Center, NOAA Fisheries, 2725 Montlake Boulevard East, Seattle, WA 98112, USA
Sílvio T. Sasaki
Affiliation:
Laboratório de Química Orgânica Marinha, Instituto Oceanográfico da Universidade de São Paulo, 05508-900, São Paulo, Brazil
Ana C.R. Albergaria-Barbosa
Affiliation:
Laboratório de Química Orgânica Marinha, Instituto Oceanográfico da Universidade de São Paulo, 05508-900, São Paulo, Brazil
Fernando S. Paolo
Affiliation:
Departamento de Geofísica, Instituto de Astronomia, Geofísica e C. Atmosféricas da Universidade de São Paulo, 05508-900, São Paulo, Brazil
Rolf R. Weber
Affiliation:
Laboratório de Química Orgânica Marinha, Instituto Oceanográfico da Universidade de São Paulo, 05508-900, São Paulo, Brazil
Rosalinda C. Montone
Affiliation:
Laboratório de Química Orgânica Marinha, Instituto Oceanográfico da Universidade de São Paulo, 05508-900, São Paulo, Brazil

Abstract

Admiralty Bay on the King George Island hosts the Brazilian, Polish and Peruvian research stations as well as the American and Ecuadorian field stations. Human activities in this region require the use of fossil fuels as an energy source, thereby placing the region at risk of hydrocarbon contamination. Hydrocarbon monitoring was conducted on water and sediment samples from the bay over 15 years. Fluorescence spectroscopy was used for the analysis of total polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in seawater samples and gas chromatography with flame ionization and/or mass spectrometric detection was used to analyse individual n-alkanes and PAHs in sediment samples. The results revealed that most sites contaminated by these compounds are around the Brazilian and Polish research stations due to the intense human activities, mainly during the summer. Moreover, the sediments revealed the presence of hydrocarbons from different sources, suggesting a mixture of the direct input of oil or derivatives and derived from hydrocarbon combustion. A decrease in PAH concentrations occurred following improvement of the sewage treatment facilities at the Brazilian research station, indicating that the contribution from human waste may be significant.

Type
Biological Sciences
Copyright
Copyright © Antarctic Science Ltd 2009

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