[Coral-List] relatively urgent question regarding oil spill sampling

Mark Tupper mtupper at coastal-resources.org
Tue Sep 4 12:11:43 EDT 2012

Hi Mark,

Hopefully you got your answers already, but just in case:

For oil and grease the standard sampling container is a 1 litre amber glass bottle. For PAH and other volatile organics, the standard sample is a pair of 500 mL amber bottles (I think 
it's one bottle for PAH and one for phenols and other VOC, but I'm not certain). The bottles should be pre-washed with acetone (or hexane/methanol). If you don't have access to amber 
bottles, you could wrap clear glass bottles in aluminum foil, although that practice is frowned upon by some labs.

You should collect at least three samples per site (two duplicate samples and a third for analysis of matrix spikes - so that's three 1 L bottles for oil and grease and six 500 mL 
bottles for PAH/phenols). Given that you're in the tropics, the samples should be put on ice as soon as collected and kept at 4 C. Ideally, 2 sodium bisulphate tablets should be added 
to the PAH sample and either 5 ml HCl or 2.5 ml H2SO4 to the oil and gas sample as preservatives, but the samples should be good for up to 7 days without preservatives if kept at no 
more than 4 C. It's a real pain to ship the preservatives internationally anyway. 

As for sampling, just dunk the glass bottle underwater. Don't completely fill it. There should be some air left in the bottle when it's capped. Also, don't wear latex gloves when 
collecting the sample - they could contaminate it.

As for the actual analysis, I send all my samples to ALS Laboratories. They operate worldwide. I don't have access to a lab to do my own analyses. The only problem with outsourcing 
your analyses is that it's very expensive.

I would use glass petri dishes for the larval experiments.


Mark Tupper

Dr. Mark Tupper, Director of Environmental Science
Coastal Resources Association
16880 87 Ave., Surrey, BC, Canada V4N 5J4
Email: mtupper at coastal-resources.org
Tel. 1-604-576-1674; Mobile: 1-604-961-2022

Philippines Office: c/o Ricky Mijares
Poblacion, Sagay, Camiguin, Philippines 9103
Tel. +63-927-921-9915

On Mon Sep  3  9:18 , Mark Vermeij  sent:

>Dear All
>As some of you might now we're dealing with a relatively large oilspill
>that hit some of Curacao's nicest reefs (. While most of teh oil floated
>out to sea, got stuck in a mangrove bay or was swept on shore, we're
>currently trying to figure out how the residual oil in the watercolumn will
>affect the fertilization and survival of Acropora larvae that are expected
>to spawn tonight. Since this is largely outside my field of expertise and I
>have trouble finding exact/ recent information on how to sample "oil water"
>I hoped you might be able to help me out. Please keep in mind that we have
>no specialized equipment and rather have "glass bottles and ducttape" to
>play with.
>I have the following questions:
>(1) What is the best way to sample water in which crude oil residue is
>expected? Collecting in a glass jar looks sufficient, but is this true?
>(2) How big do these samples have to be for later analyses (i.e., PAH's
>etc)? Which analyses are commonly used to detect oil residues?
>(3) I get the impression that these water samples can be stored at +4
>degrees Celsius until analysis. Is this true?
>(4) Can standard petri dishes be used to subject larvae to this water or
>will the oil bind to the plastic of these dishes?
>Any other pointers and suggestions are extremely welcome!
>Thanks in advance for any help!
>Tropical regards
>Dr. M.J.A. Vermeij
>Science Director Carmabi Foundation
>Piscaderabaai z/n
>Web: http://www.researchstationcarmabi.org/
>Assistant professor
>Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics (IBED)
>University of Amsterdam
>Science Park 700
>1098 XH Amsterdam
>The Netherlands
>Web: http://www.science.uva.nl/ibed/home.cfm
>Phone: +5999-5103067
>Email: m.vermeij at carmabi.org
>Skype: markvermeij
>Coral-List mailing list
>Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov

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