During 1971–72 ocean water samples were collected off tankers along two well traveled routes, including:

  • U.S. Gulf Coast to East Coast

  • Caribbean to East Coast

Approximately 400 samples were taken near the surface and at a depth of about 10 meters. At the time of collection, each sample was extracted with carbon tetrachloride. The extract was subsequently analyzed for hydrocarbon content and, in many cases, the hydrocarbons were characterized as to compound types. Nonvolatile or persistent hydrocarbons were found to be generally in the concentration range of .001 to .012 ppm (wt.). Some variations in the amount and composition were observed according to geographical location of the sample.

Sampling and analysis methods are briefly described.

This program is jointly funded by U.S. Maritime Administration and Exxon Corporation.

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