As part of risk assessment of fuel oil spills in Antarctic and subantarctic waters, this study describes partitioning of hydrocarbons from three fuels (Special Antarctic Blend diesel, SAB; marine gas oil, MGO; and intermediate grade fuel oil, IFO 180) into seawater at 0 and 5 °C and subsequent depletion over 7 days. Initial total hydrocarbon content (THC) of water accommodated fraction (WAF) in seawater was highest for SAB. Rates of THC loss and proportions in equivalent carbon number fractions differed between fuels and over time. THC was most persistent in IFO 180 WAFs and most rapidly depleted in MGO WAF, with depletion for SAB WAF strongly affected by temperature. Concentration and composition remained proportionate in dilution series over time. This study significantly enhances our understanding of fuel behaviour in Antarctic and subantarctic waters, enabling improved predictions for estimates of sensitivities of marine organisms to toxic contaminants from fuels in the region.
Brown, KE, King, CK, Kotzakoulakis, K, George, SC & Harrison, PL 2016, 'Assessing fuel spill risks in polar waters: temporal dynamics and behaviour of hydrocarbons from Antarctic diesel, marine gas oil and residual fuel oil', Marine Pollution Bulletin, vol. 110, no. 1, pp. 343-353.
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