Home Departments Group Environmental Chemistry Marine Organic Geochemistry

The research subline “Marine Organic Geochemistry” aims at contributing to the knowledge of the composition or the marine organic compounds, especially those with anthropogenic origin. In addition to contributions to the knowledge of marine levels of organic pollutants, the research subline focus on applied aspects of organic geochemistry such as the characterization of oil spills. The marine environment is perturbed by many anthropogenic compounds. Some of them reach the marine waters by diffusive sources, but point sources can also be important either in the coastal environment, or due to accidental oil spills. Within the diffuse pollution issues of this subline, attention has been given to study the spatial distribution of persistent organic pollutants in sediments, especially in the Mediterranean sea, and to study some aspects of pollutant occurrence in the marine water column. Concerning point sources of pollutants, work has been done on the study of the relevance of Ebro River on the coastal regional pollution. An important part of the subline activities are related to the characterization and survey of accidental oil spills. The group has participated historically in the characterization of several oil spills, the later was the one of the ship Prestige, which had a huge impact in the Galician coast (NW Spain). Oil spills are events of high pollution load but limited in time and space. They can have occasionally important impact to regional organism and eventually affect ecosystems and humans. Organic geochemistry provides the adequate tools to characterize and follow these events.



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