Trace analysis of hydrocarbons in coral cores from Saudi Arabia

Poulsen, Anita, Burns, Kathryn, Lough, Janice, Brinkman, Diane and Delean, Steven (2006). Trace analysis of hydrocarbons in coral cores from Saudi Arabia. In: J. Curiale, Proceedings of the 22nd International Meeting on Organic Geochemistry. Advances in Organic Geochemistry 2005, Seville, Spain, (1913-1930). 12-16 September 2005. doi:10.1016/j.orggeochem.2006.07.011

Author Poulsen, Anita
Burns, Kathryn
Lough, Janice
Brinkman, Diane
Delean, Steven
Title of paper Trace analysis of hydrocarbons in coral cores from Saudi Arabia
Conference name Advances in Organic Geochemistry 2005
Conference location Seville, Spain
Conference dates 12-16 September 2005
Proceedings title Proceedings of the 22nd International Meeting on Organic Geochemistry   Check publisher's open access policy
Journal name Organic Geochemistry   Check publisher's open access policy
Place of Publication Oxford, United Kingdom
Publisher Pergamon
Publication Year 2006
Sub-type Fully published paper
DOI 10.1016/j.orggeochem.2006.07.011
ISSN 0146-6380
Editor J. Curiale
Volume 37
Issue 12
Start page 1913
End page 1930
Total pages 18
Language eng
Formatted Abstract/Summary
As part of a long-term environmental assessment of the impact of the 1991 Gulf War on coral reefs, the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) conducted growth and chemistry studies on coral cores from the Arabian Gulf. Twenty-eight cores were collected from four coral reefs located offshore from Saudi Arabia. Annual coral growth bands surrounding the 1991 oil spill were analysed in selected cores. Additionally, in cores that extended to the early 1980s, annual layers from 1980 to 1986 were analysed for possible residues from the 1983–4 oil spill caused by the Nowruz oil field blowout during the Iraq–Iran war. Both major spill events were targeted to provide additional confidence in relating oil concentrations to specific pollution events. We detected petroleum biomarkers in several coral annual bands related to the major pollution events. However, the oil remaining in these cores has been altered over time and the biomarker ratios found in these oil residues differed from Gulf crude oils. The concentrations of hydrocarbons were compared with the growth parameters of the coral cores. Only one sample may have recorded an “impact” of oil exposure. There was no other correspondence between slight changes in growth parameters between years and the trace chemistry. Therefore, chemical analysis enabled detection of the exposure incident, but provided no insight into the amount of oil to which the coral had been exposed. The chemical data can only infer biological impact if growth was significantly decreased. The average coral growth characteristics of Porites from the four sites in the Arabian Gulf were normal, as predicted from the average water temperatures of the region. There was an indication of an overall decline in growth over time, which should be monitored in the future.
Subjects 04 Earth Sciences
0402 Geochemistry
Keyword Gulf War
Coral Reefs
Environmental assessment
Oil Spills
Iraq War
Iran War
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

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Created: Tue, 12 Jan 2010, 11:07:14 EST by Ms May Balasaize on behalf of Faculty Of Health Sciences