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Historical trace element accumulation in marine sediments from the Tamaulipas shelf, Gulf of Mexico: An assessment of natural vs anthropogenic inputs

Historical trace element accumulation in marine sediments from the Tamaulipas shelf, Gulf of Mexico: An assessment of natural vs anthropogenic inputs
Historical trace element accumulation in marine sediments from the Tamaulipas shelf, Gulf of Mexico: An assessment of natural vs anthropogenic inputs
The Gulf of Mexico is considered one of the world's major marine ecosystems, supporting important fisheries and habitats such as barrier islands, mangrove forests, seagrass beds, coral reefs etc. It also hosts a range of complex offshore petroleum exploration, extraction, and refining industries, which may have chronic or acute impacts on ecosystem functioning. Previous work on the marine effects of this activity is geographically incomplete, and has tended to focus on direct hydrocarbon impacts, while impacts from other related contaminants (e.g. heavy metals, salt-rich drilling muds) which may be discharged from oil facilities have not been widely assessed. Here, we examine historical trace element accumulation in marine sediments collected from four sites in the Tamaulipas shelf, Gulf of Mexico, in the area of the Arenque oil field. Dated sediment cores were used to examine the sources, and historical and contemporary inputs, of trace metals (including those typically present in oil industry discharges) and their potential biological impact in the Tamaulipas aquatic environment over the last 100 years. CaO (i.e. biogenic component) normalized data showed increasing V, Cr, Zn, Cu, Pb, Zr and Ba towards the sediment surface in three of the four cores, with Ba and V (based on an adverse effect index) possibly associated with adverse effects on organisms. Dated Ba/CaO profiles show an increase of 30–137% after opening of oil installations in the study area, and can be broadly correlated with increasing oil industry activities across the wider Gulf of Mexico. Data do not record however a clear enhancement of Ba concentration in sediment cores collected near to oil platforms over more distal cores, indicating that any Ba released from drilling platforms is incorporated quickly into the sediments around the drilling sites, and once this element has been deposited its rate of resuspension and mobility is low.
0048-9697
325-336
Celis-Hernandez, Omar
4f213650-9ea6-420b-82bf-14200795d767
Rosales-Hoz, Leticia
8153a18a-4b3c-4e95-8137-ccb2c898433e
Cundy, Andrew B.
994fdc96-2dce-40f4-b74b-dc638286eb08
Carranza-Edwards, Arturo
9d516d06-8e37-4d05-8eed-52eaf71eb8a1
Croudace, Ian W.
24deb068-d096-485e-8a23-a32b7a68afaf
Hernandez-Hernandez, Hector
29a871ae-9c12-473a-b75b-beb1e3aaa267
Celis-Hernandez, Omar
4f213650-9ea6-420b-82bf-14200795d767
Rosales-Hoz, Leticia
8153a18a-4b3c-4e95-8137-ccb2c898433e
Cundy, Andrew B.
994fdc96-2dce-40f4-b74b-dc638286eb08
Carranza-Edwards, Arturo
9d516d06-8e37-4d05-8eed-52eaf71eb8a1
Croudace, Ian W.
24deb068-d096-485e-8a23-a32b7a68afaf
Hernandez-Hernandez, Hector
29a871ae-9c12-473a-b75b-beb1e3aaa267

Celis-Hernandez, Omar, Rosales-Hoz, Leticia, Cundy, Andrew B., Carranza-Edwards, Arturo, Croudace, Ian W. and Hernandez-Hernandez, Hector (2018) Historical trace element accumulation in marine sediments from the Tamaulipas shelf, Gulf of Mexico: An assessment of natural vs anthropogenic inputs Science of Total Environment, 622-623, pp. 325-336. (doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.11.228).

Record type: Article

Abstract

The Gulf of Mexico is considered one of the world's major marine ecosystems, supporting important fisheries and habitats such as barrier islands, mangrove forests, seagrass beds, coral reefs etc. It also hosts a range of complex offshore petroleum exploration, extraction, and refining industries, which may have chronic or acute impacts on ecosystem functioning. Previous work on the marine effects of this activity is geographically incomplete, and has tended to focus on direct hydrocarbon impacts, while impacts from other related contaminants (e.g. heavy metals, salt-rich drilling muds) which may be discharged from oil facilities have not been widely assessed. Here, we examine historical trace element accumulation in marine sediments collected from four sites in the Tamaulipas shelf, Gulf of Mexico, in the area of the Arenque oil field. Dated sediment cores were used to examine the sources, and historical and contemporary inputs, of trace metals (including those typically present in oil industry discharges) and their potential biological impact in the Tamaulipas aquatic environment over the last 100 years. CaO (i.e. biogenic component) normalized data showed increasing V, Cr, Zn, Cu, Pb, Zr and Ba towards the sediment surface in three of the four cores, with Ba and V (based on an adverse effect index) possibly associated with adverse effects on organisms. Dated Ba/CaO profiles show an increase of 30–137% after opening of oil installations in the study area, and can be broadly correlated with increasing oil industry activities across the wider Gulf of Mexico. Data do not record however a clear enhancement of Ba concentration in sediment cores collected near to oil platforms over more distal cores, indicating that any Ba released from drilling platforms is incorporated quickly into the sediments around the drilling sites, and once this element has been deposited its rate of resuspension and mobility is low.

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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 20 November 2017
e-pub ahead of print date: 13 December 2017
Published date: 1 May 2018

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 416458
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/416458
ISSN: 0048-9697
PURE UUID: 52cc2043-416c-4ed8-be84-e94ecd66de29
ORCID for Andrew B. Cundy: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-4368-2569

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Date deposited: 19 Dec 2017 17:30
Last modified: 21 Dec 2017 17:30

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Contributors

Author: Omar Celis-Hernandez
Author: Leticia Rosales-Hoz
Author: Andrew B. Cundy ORCID iD
Author: Arturo Carranza-Edwards
Author: Ian W. Croudace
Author: Hector Hernandez-Hernandez

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