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Hydrocarbons and petroleum in the marine ecosystem - a review
Hardy, R.; MacKie, P.R.; Whittle, K.J. (1977). Hydrocarbons and petroleum in the marine ecosystem - a review. Rapp. P.v. Réun. Cons. int. Explor. Mer. 171: 17-26
In: Rapport et Procès-verbaux des Réunions, Conseil international pour L'Exploration de la Mer. ICES, more

Also published as
  • Hardy, R.; MacKie, P.R.; Whittle, K.J. (1977). Hydrocarbons and petroleum in the marine ecosystem - a review, in: McIntyre, A.D. et al. (Ed.) (1977). Petroleum hydrocarbons in the marine environment: Proceedings from ICES Workshop held in Aberdeen 9-12 September 1975. Rapp. P.-v. Réun. Cons. int. Explor. Mer, 171: pp. 17-26, more

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Keywords
    Biogeochemical cycle; Ecosystems; Environmental effects; Hydrocarbons; Marine environment; Oil pollution; Petroleum; Pollution effects; Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Hardy, R.
  • MacKie, P.R.
  • Whittle, K.J.

Abstract
    Various aspects concerning the presence of petroleum in the marine ecosystem are discussed. It is clear from a review of the literature that there is no simple method of determining accurately the amount of petroleum in the ecosystem, especially in the open seas where the concentrations are low. The subsequent fate of the petroleum components is not known although studies have shown that they may be removed or converted into other components by physical, chemical and biological (biochemical) means. Nevertheless, the amounts of petroleum compounds present in the environment appear to exceed the estimated annual input by several orders of magnitude. This may be a reflection of the size of other non-petroleum inputs, erroneous calculations of the size of the petroleum input and/or a greater stability of the petroleum-like components in the ecosystem. The effects caused by petroleum vary not only with the composition and concentration of the petroleum but also with the interacting component. Such effects can be observed most readily where large spillages have occurred. At lower input levels, especially at concentrations found in the open sea, the effects caused by the various petroleum components are not well known and merit a more detailed study.

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