Discipline: Ecology Environmental and Earth Sciences
Room: Park Tower 8206
Justin Griffin - Dillard University
Co-Author(s): Bernard Singleton, Dillard University, New Orleans, LA
In 2010 the British Petroleum (BP) Deep Water Oil Spill released millions of gallons of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico near the Louisiana shoreline and in 2015 thousands of gallons of crude oil spilled on land then into the Pacific Ocean from a Santa Barbara corroded ruptured pipeline near the Refugio, CA Shoreline. Then the Shell Oil Spill occurred in the Gulf in 2016. In the Gulf toxic dispersants were applied. Toxic chemical additives in the pipeline were mixed in with the Pacific Oil leak. In both cases the oil caused serious harm to the ecosystems, human, animal, and other lifeforms. The purpose of this study is to compare the aerosol genotoxic levels along the Gulf of Mexico and the Pacific Ocean shorelines following the BP and Refugio Oil Spills. Air samples were collected from contaminated sites using Impingers, Mini-vol’s, and the URG-3000 (multi-filter sampler)- Grand Isle, Elmer’s Island, Port Fourchon, in-water (by boat) LA and the control site Sea Rim Park, Tx. Air samples were also collected at the contaminated Refugio Spill site and the control site Gaviota Beach. Water, tarballs, and sediments were collected as well. The air samples were processed in the laboratory with the Umu Chromo Test assay EBPL according to the manufacturer’s recommen-dations. The results were expressed as induction ratios. The induction ratio of 1.5 and above is considered to be genotoxic. All the contaminated sites had induction ratios in the genotoxic range; on the LA shoreline the induction ratios range between 3.7 and 4.7 and on the shoreline of CA the range was between 6.2 and 6.7. As can be seen the genotoxicity levels are higher on the California shoreline compared to the Louisiana shoreline. X-ray Diffractions were used to analyze the tarballs to determine the components present that may be contributing to the genotoxicity. The components included from the tarballs are Quartz, SiO2, Tridymite, Cristobalite low, Sodalite, Goethite, α-Polypropylene. There are a number of factors that can be considered to take in account for the higher level of genotoxicity in CA compared to LA. The oil types, natural crude oil seeps (Santa Barbara has the largest oil seeps in the Country), the cleanup methods, and response efforts. Future next steps include processing the new samples collected, continue to monitor the effects of the Spills on the environment and study the recovery process.
Funder Acknowledgement(s): This research project was supported by: The National Science Foundation grants- Award #1552625, and HRD-1118254 awarded to Dr. Bernard Singleton (Mentor); Dr. Abdalla Darwish, First Presidential Professor of Dillard University, Physics Department, Campus Coordinator/Director of DU- LS-LAMP Research Program.
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Bernard Singleton, firstname.lastname@example.org
Role: I assisted in the development of and the design of the research project. I also assisted in the development and design of this presentation. I conducted research on the background, discussion, conclusion and more insight on what occurred during these two spills, who was mostly affected, and has there been any improvements post spills.