Toxicology and Biodegradation of Crude and Dispersed Oil in the Arctic Marine Environment
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Toxicology and Biodegradation of Crude and Dispersed Oil in the Arctic Marine Environment Joint Industry Program Research. Managed by: Jack Word NewFields 4729 NE View Dr Port Gamble, WA 98364 And Robert Perkins University of Alaska, Fairbanks

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Toxicology and Biodegradation of Crude and Dispersed Oil in the Arctic Marine Environment Joint Industry Program Research

Managed by:

Jack Word

NewFields

4729 NE View Dr

Port Gamble, WA 98364

And

Robert Perkins

University of Alaska, Fairbanks

Institute of Northern Engineering

Fairbanks, AK 99775


Program the Arctic Marine Environment Management

  • Research Partners

  • NewFields, UAF, BASC, BARC,

  • Alpha Analytical

  • Technical Advisory Committee:

  • USCG, NOAA, USEPA, ADEC, NSB,

  • CEDRE, UAF, COOGER, SINTEF,

  • AkvaplanNiva.

  • Sponsoring Companies

    • Shell

    • ExxonMobil

    • Statoil

    • ConocoPhillips

  • Barrow Arctic Research Center

    Barrow, Alaska


    Jip research objectives
    JIP Research Objectives the Arctic Marine Environment

    • Identification of Research Needs

      • Literature review

      • International workshop

      • Develop scopes of work and test protocols

    • Develop infrastructure to support research work in the Arctic (personnel, facilities, equipment and testing procedures to accomplish tasks)

    • Conduct work and provide monthly updates to TAC and JIP members on the outcome of the research efforts – modify efforts as needed to address issues and discoveries

    • This information is provided on an open-access ftp website that is updated regularly


    Key toxicology research objectives
    Key Toxicology Research Objectives

    • Determine sensitivity of key Arctic species to chemically and physically dispersed petroleum under Arctic conditions (pelagic marine, cold water and ice-free conditions).

    • Compare sensitivity of key Arctic species to sub-Arctic, temperate and tropical species.

    • Determine whether the dispersant Corexit 9500 adds to petroleum toxicity.

    Physically and Chemically Dispersed

    Petroleum Preparation

    Chemically Dispersed

    Petroleum (CEWAF)

    Physically Dispersed

    Petroleum (WAF)


    Key biodegradation research objectives
    Key Biodegradation Research Objectives

    • Study biodegradation of petroleum under Arctic conditions (+5 to -2°C; 24 hour illumination and 24 hour darkness; ice-free) with indigenous microbes contained in natural seawaters. Temperatures reflect summer and winter conditions.

    • Determine rate of biodegradation of chemically and physically dispersed petroleum.

    • Determine effect of weathering on biodegradation rates of physically and chemically dispersed petroleum.

    Respirometer


    Key species selected for arctic toxicology testing
    Key Species Selected for Arctic Toxicology Testing

    • Calanus glacialis – pelagic copepod representing significant Tier II food web contribution to Arctic invertebrates, fish, marine mammals and seabirds.

    • Boreogadus saida – marine fish representing important Tier III food web contribution to Arctic fish, marine mammals and seabirds

    • Myoxocephalus sp – marine/estuarine fish representing Tier III food web contribution to Arctic fish, marine mammals and seabirds.

    • Thysanoessaraschii– pelagic krill species representing important Tier II food web contribution to Arctic fish, marine mammals and seabirds

    Calanus glacialis

    Boreogadus saida

    Myoxocephalus sp

    Thysanoessaraschii

    Bioassay Testing @ 0 ± 1 °C


    Arctic toxicity findings
    Arctic Toxicity Findings Arctic Toxicology Testing

    • Pelagic organisms respond to the concentrations of petroleum in the water column (PAH)

    • Dispersant concentrations do not add to the petroleum toxicity at recommended dispersant oil ratios (DOR 1:20)

    • Dispersant (Corexit 9500) by itself at recommended use rates does not show significant toxicity to copepods

    • Toxicity is expressed over longer periods of time for Arctic copepods versus subarctic and temperate species (12 versus 4 days).

    • Arctic species show equal or less sensitivity to petroleum exposure than temperate species after appropriate exposure periods.

    • We have developed a ‘breaking wave WAF’ procedure that physically disperses petroleum into the water column sufficiently to produce biological effects based concentrations.


    Comparative toxicity of spiked petroleum dispersants
    Comparative Toxicity of Spiked Petroleum & Dispersants Arctic Toxicology Testing

    Younger stages are more sensitive

    2. Corexit 9500 is ~100-fold less toxic than PAH

    Corexit 9500 is ~3-fold less toxic than total petroleum

    WAF and CE WAF preparations are equally toxic based on petroleum measurements

    5. Arctic species (C. glacialis is less sensitive than temperate copepod (E. affinis)


    Comparative toxicity of petroleum in arctic subarctic and temperate regions
    Comparative Toxicity of Petroleum in Arctic, Subarctic and Temperate Regions

    Red Bars show Arctic species response


    Arctic biodegradation findings
    Arctic Biodegradation Findings Temperate Regions

    • Indigenous microbes in natural Arctic seawater degrade petroleum hydrocarbons under Arctic conditions

    • The respirometry studies indicate that there is a lag phase followed by biodegradation which are comparable to rates under laboratory temperate conditions

    • Fresh oil biodegrades more rapidly than weathered oil

    • Respirometry is a good surrogate for estimating rates of biodegradation of total oil (=mineralization) – chemistry evaluates degradation of individual components of oil (primary biodegradation)

    • The dispersant (Corexit 9500) does not inhibit biodegradation nor does it appear toxic to the microbes

    • Chemically dispersed fresh oil degrades more rapidly than chemically dispersed weathered oil

    • Biodegradation of chemically dispersed fresh oil removes ~60% of the chemically measured components over a period of 57 days under Arctic conditions with natural seawater and it’s component microbes



    Biodegradation of Oil and Dispersed Oil Temperate RegionsUnder Arctic Conditions(after 57 days in incubator; measured by GCMS)


    Summary
    Summary Temperate Regions

    • Arctic species that have been tested with petroleum and Corexit exposures react with similar or higher resilience than temperate species.

    • When results from this JIP research are compared to results provided by Akvaplan Niva and CROSERF, similar trends are evident.

    • Chemically dispersed oil effects are less toxic than physically dispersed oil toxicity on a per unit petroleum basis

    • Corexit 9500 shows little toxicity by itself or when mixed with oil at appropriate environmental and petroleum based concentrations.

    Winter - Bear Guard

    Winter -Close up of Pressure Ridge Ice


    Summary Temperate Regions- Continued

    • Petroleum biodegrades in the Arctic with indigenous microbes in pelagic waters under summer and winter ice-free conditions.

    • Chemical dispersants appear to enhance the completeness of degradation of measured components in oil over undispersed petroleum

    • (~60 % compared to <30 %);

    • Degradation of weathered oil is less than fresh oil under sealed conditions (no evaporation)

    Summer – Open Water Conditions

    Photo credit: all photos taken by Jack D Word


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