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SYMPOSIUM on Marine Accidental Oil Spills
Oil Spill Environmental Forensics: Fingerprinting and Source
Identification
Zhendi WANG
Emergencies Science and Technology Division
Environmental Technology Centre, Environment Canada
335 River Road, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1A 0H3
Scott A. STOUT
NewFields Environmental Forensics
100 Ledgewood Place, Rockland, MA 02370, USA
ABSTRACT
Accidental spills from tanker vessels carrying oil or petroleum products
(with known or unknown sources, in large or small scale) occur everyday
worldwide. Oil spill poses a range of environmental risks and causes wide
public concern whether as catastrophic spills or chronic discharges.
Therefore, to unambiguously characterize, identify and quantify spill oil
hydrocarbons is extremely important for environmental damage
assessment, understanding the fate and behaviour and predicting the
potential long-term impact of spilled oil on the environment, selecting
appropriate spill response measures, and helping to settle legal liability. The
oil fingerprinting and data interpretation techniques briefly discussed in this
presentation include the following:
1. Oil spill overview and oil fingerprinting methods
2. Factors affecting chemical fingerprints of spilled oils
(1) Primary controls: crude oil genesis
(2) Secondary controls: petroleum refining
(3) Tertiary controls: effects of weathering
(4) Quaternary control: mixing of oils or with “background”
3. Oil correlation and source identification by PAH fingerprinting
analysis
4. Oil
correlation
and
source
identification
by
biomarker
fingerprinting analysis
5. Using sesquiterpane and diamondoids for source identification of
spilled lighter fuels
6. Application of statistical and numerical analysis for oil spill studies
7. Other fingerprinting techniques for oil spill identification
8. Conclusions
1
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