Spatial and temporal trends of petroleum hydrocarbons in wild mussels from the Galician coast (NW Spain) affected by the Prestige oil spill

J A Soriano, L Viñas, M A Franco, J J González, L Ortiz, J M Bayona, J Albaigés
Science of the Total Environment 2006 October 15, 370 (1): 80-90
Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) were determined in tissues of wild mussels (Mytilus galloprovincialis) from the Galicia coast (NW Spain) in order to assess the extent of the environmental impact caused by the Prestige oil spill (November 13, 2002). Three sampling campaigns were carried out in February, June and November 2003 at 24 stations along the Galicia coast, from La Guardia (Pontevedra) to Ribadeo (Lugo). The spatial distribution of PAHs found in the first sampling period, clearly revealed the central area (Costa da Morte) as the most affected by the oil spill. In these stations, concentrations up to 7780 microg/kg dw of the sum of 13 parent PAHs were found 2-3 months after the spill. Molecular parameters within the aliphatic and aromatic fractions confirmed the presence of the Prestige oil in these samples. The levels markedly decreased at most of the stations in the second sampling and recovered to levels found before the spill in November 2003, 1 year after the accident (29-279 microg/kg dw, av. 133+/-83 microg/kg dw). However, a certain increase was observed in some sites which could be related to the remobilization of oil residues from still unclean intertidal spots or sediments due to the winter marine weather conditions.

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