Abstract

Organic geochemists are increasingly involved in multi-disciplinary collaborative studies but not often in the initial sample collection phase, so understanding the origin and source of contaminants derived from sample handling and containers is of vital importance as standard laboratory blanks cannot assess this contamination. A variety of organic contaminants was detected in different sediments collected during Geoscience Australia marine survey S282. These include fatty acid amides, chemical antioxidants such as butylated hydroxytoluene and octadecyl-3, 5-di-tert-butyl-4-hydroxyhydrocinnamate (Irganox 1076), plus the UV absorbers octabenzone and octyl methoxycinnamate. These compounds were introduced during sampling on board the research vessel or during subsequent handling. Solvent extraction of potential contamination sources identified two brands of plastic sampling bags as the main source for the fatty acid amides, butylated hydroxytoluene and Irganox 1076. Direct contact of samples with hands covered with sunscreen appears to have caused contamination by octabenzone and octyl methoxycinnamate. As the primary aim of the survey was to detect evidence for hydrocarbon seepage in the Arafura Sea, care was also taken to identify potential sources of hydrocarbons that might have been introduced during sampling and storage. Detailed examination of solvent extracts from plastic bags revealed the occurrence of several homologous series of branched alkanes with quaternary carbon atoms (BAQCs), as well as distributions of alkyl cyclohexanes and alkyl cyclopentanes with strong even over odd carbon predominance. These compounds were also found in sediment samples collected during the survey. Other potential sources of contamination used on board the ship, such as PVC core liners and lubricants, yielded hydrocarbons that could easily be mistaken for evidence of naturally occurring petroleum if care is not taken during interpretation.
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Product Type/Sub Type

nonGeographicDataset - External Publication

Constraints

license
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia Licence

IP Owner

Commonwealth of Australia (Geoscience Australia)

Author(s)

Date (publication)

2007

Product Type

nonGeographicDataset

Topic Category

geoscientificInformation

Keywords

External Publication
marine survey
organic geochemistry
geochemistry
Earth Sciences

Resource Language

English

Resource Character Set

utf8

Resource Security Classification

unclassified

Lineage

Unknown

Digital Transfer Options

onLine

Distributor

Role
distributor
Organisation Name
Geoscience Australia
City
Canberra
Administrative Area
ACT
Postal Code
2601
Country
Australia
Email Address

Metadata File Identifier

a05f7892-ed6b-7506-e044-00144fdd4fa6

Metadata Standard Name

ANZLIC Metadata Profile: An Australian/New Zealand Profile of AS/NZS ISO 19115:2005, Geographic information - Metadata

Metadata Standard Version

1.1

Metadata Date Stamp

2006-08-25

METADATA SECURITY CLASSIFICATION

unclassified

Metadata Contact

Role
pointOfContact
Organisation Name
Geoscience Australia
City
Canberra
Administrative Area
ACT
Postal Code
2601
Country
Australia
Email Address
Related Links
For information on acquiring this product,
please contact the Geoscience Australia Sales Centre via:

fax:
+61 2 6249 9960; or
phone:
1800 800 173 (within Australia);
 
+61 2 6249 9966 (outside Australia).

Please note that support hours are 9 am to 5 pm weekdays