TitlePolycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon (PAH) and Oxygenated PAH (OPAH) Air-Water Exchange during the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill.
Publication TypeJournal Article
AuthorsTidwell LG, Allan SE, O'Connell SG, Hobbie KA, Smith BW, Anderson KA
JournalEnviron Sci Technol
Date Published1/2015

Passive sampling devices were used to measure air vapor and water dissolved phase concentrations of 33 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and 22 oxygenated PAHs (OPAHs) at four Gulf of Mexico coastal sites prior to, during, and after shoreline oiling from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill (DWH). Measurements were taken at each site over a 13 month period, and flux across the water-air boundary was determined. This is the first report of vapor phase and flux of both PAHs and OPAHs during the DWH. Vapor phase sum PAH and OPAH concentrations ranged between 1 and 24 ng/m(3) and 0.3 and 27 ng/m(3), respectively. PAH and OPAH concentrations in air exhibited different spatial and temporal trends than in water, and air-water flux of 13 individual PAHs were strongly associated with the DWH incident. The largest PAH volatilizations occurred at the sites in Alabama and Mississippi in the summer, each nominally 10 000 ng/m(2)/day. Acenaphthene was the PAH with the highest observed volatilization rate of 6800 ng/m(2)/day in September 2010. This work represents additional evidence of the DWH incident contributing to air contamination, and provides one of the first quantitative air-water chemical flux determinations with passive sampling technology.

Alternate JournalEnviron. Sci. Technol.
PubMed ID25412353
PubMed Central IDPMC4291772
Projects Reference: 
Gulf of Mexico Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill
LDPE Passive Sampling Devices