Fuel-oil analysis and cartography in sea water, sediments and organisms and pollution levels. Inventory of the preliminary results obtained in Galicia and in the Cantabrian Sea.
Josep Maria Bayona Termens (CSIC)
An oil product spilled at sea undergoes a series of physical, chemical and biological processes, temporally scattered, which affect differently the variety of oil components and the different marine compartments and levels of the trophic web. The present project aims at understanding the spatial and temporal evolution of these processes in the first 10-12 months after the spill.
To this end, the levels of hydrocarbons in water, sediment and organism samples collected during a series of cruises (December 2002 and February, March, April and September 2003) along the Galician and Cantabrian coasts will be determined. Among the selected organisms are wild mussels, as coastal indicator species, molluscs (octopus and jackknife clam), crustaceans (Norway lobster and barnacle) and fish (blue whiting, hake, horse mackerel, fourspotted megrim, etc.). The study will be focused on the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, by their ecotoxicological implications, but their origin will also be determined on the basis of the molecular markers of the Prestige oil.
Moreover, the chemical characterization of coastal stranded oil samples will be performed in order to monitor the distribution and persistence of the heavy oil in the environment.