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Open-File Report 2011–1078

Sediment Pore-Water Toxicity Test Results and Preliminary Toxicity Identification of Post-Landfall Pore-Water Samples Collected Following the Deepwater Horizon Oil Release, Gulf of Mexico, 2010

By James M. Biedenbach and Robert S. Carr

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Pore water from coastal beach and marsh sediments from the northern Gulf of Mexico, pre- and post-landfall of the Deepwater Horizon oil release, were collected and evaluated for toxicity with the sea urchin fertilization and embryological development assays. There were 17 pre-landfall samples and 49 post-landfall samples tested using both assays. Toxicity was determined in four pre-landfall sites and in seven post-landfall sites in one or both assays as compared to a known reference sediment pore-water sample collected in Aransas Bay, Texas. Further analysis and testing of five of the post-landfall toxic samples utilizing Toxicity Identification Evaluation techniques indicated that ammonia, and to a lesser extent metals, contributed to most, if not all, of the observed toxicity in four of the five samples. Results of one sample (MS–39) indicated evidence that ammonia, metals, and non-ionic organics were contributing to the observed toxicity.

First posted April 19, 2011

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Suggested citation:

Biedenbach, J.M., Carr, R.S., 2011, Sediment pore-water toxicity test results and preliminary toxicity identification of post-landfall pore-water samples collected following the Deepwater Horizon oil release, Gulf of Mexico, 2010: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2011–1078, 79 p.





Materials and Methods


References Cited

Appendix 1. Extraction and Storage of Pore-Water Samples

Appendix 2. Sea Urchin Fertilization Toxicity Test

Appendix 3. Sea Urchin Embryological Development Toxicity Test

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