A summary is presented of a study conducted to characterize tar samples recovered from the marine environment. The samples were collected by the U.S. Coast Guard primarily from the northwestern Atlantic Ocean and along the eastern coast of the United States.

A multiparameter analytical approach was applied which involved microscopy, chromatography, infrared, and other analytical methods. Patterns were recognized which allowed a classification of the samples into distinct groups and which suggested possible origins.

Contract DOT-CG-23,379A, U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters, Washington, D.C.

A complete report of the investigation covered under this contract (DOT-CG-23,379A) is available through the National Technical Information Service, Springfield, Va. 22151.

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