The tarballs on Texas beaches following the 2014 Texas City “Y” Spill: Modeling, chemical, and microbiological studies.

Citation:

Bacosa HP, Thyng KM, Plunkett S, Erdner DL, Liu Z. The tarballs on Texas beaches following the 2014 Texas City “Y” Spill: Modeling, chemical, and microbiological studies. Marine Pollution Bulletin [Internet]. 2016;109 (1) :236-244.

Abstract:

We modeled the transport of oil, source-fingerprinted 44 tarball samples from Galveston Island (GV) and Mustang Island (MT), and determined the hydrocarbon and bacterial community composition of these tarballs following the 2014 Texas City “Y” Oil Spill (TCY). Transport modeling indicated that the tarballs arrived in MT before the samples were collected. Source-fingerprinting confirmed that the tarballs collected from GV and MT, 6 d and 11 d after the TCY, respectively, originated from the spill. Tarballs from GV showed 21% depletion of alkanes, mainly C9–C17, and 55% depletion of PAHs mainly naphthalenes, and dominated by alkane-degrading Alcanivorax and Psychrobacter. Samples from MT were depleted of 24% alkanes and 63% PAHs, and contained mainly of PAH-degrading Pseudoalteromonas. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to relate oil transport, tarball source-fingerprinting, chemistry, and microbiology, which provides insights on the fate of oil in the northern Gulf of Mexico.

Publisher's Version

Last updated on 07/25/2016