About Us | Help Videos | Contact Us | Subscriptions



This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 33 No. 6, p. 2103-2110
    Received: Jan 13, 2004

    * Corresponding author(s): mandrade@uvigo.es
Request Permissions


Effect of the Prestige Oil Spill on Salt Marsh Soils on the Coast of Galicia (Northwestern Spain)

  1. M. L. Andrade *,
  2. E. F. Covelo,
  3. F. A. Vega and
  4. P. Marcet
  1. Department of Vegetable Biology and Soil Science, Ap. 874, 36200 Vigo, Spain


At four estuarine sites on the coast of Galicia (northwestern Spain), all of which were affected by the Prestige oil spill, soil samples were taken from polluted and unpolluted areas and their petroleum hydrocarbon contents, heavy metal contents, and other chemical and physical characteristics were measured. Oil pollution altered both chemical and physical soil properties, aggregating soil particles in plaques, lowering porosity, and increasing resistance to penetration and hydrophobicity. The chromium, nickel, copper, iron, lead, and vanadium contents of polluted soils were between 2 and 2500 times higher than those of their unpolluted counterparts and the background concentrations in Galician coastal sediments. In the cases of Cr, Cu, Ni, Pb, and V, their origin in the polluting oil was corroborated by the high correlation (r ≥ 0.74) between the concentrations of these metals and the total petroleum hydrocarbon (TPH) content of the polluted soils. Soil redox potentials ranged from −19 to −114 mV in polluted soils and 112 to 164 mV in unpolluted soils, and were negatively correlated with TPH content (p < 0.01). The low values in the polluted soils explain why the soluble fractions of their total heavy metal contents were very small (generally less than 3%, and in many cases undetectable).

  Please view the pdf by using the Full Text (PDF) link under 'View' to the left.

Copyright © 2004. American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, Soil Science SocietyASA, CSSA, SSSA