A quantitative study of oils and tars stranded on Galveston Island beaches.
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Strandings of oil and tar on Galveston Island beaches were assessed for 1 yr. Most materials collected were tars or tarlike residues that were highly weathered. There was no consistent relationship between oil accumulation and wind speed and direction. Efforts to correlate oil deposition with shipping traffic were unsuccessful. Representative oil tar samples were analyzed periodically by the following methods: gas chromatography for hydrocarbons; atomic absorption spectrophotometry for Ni, V, Cr, and Co; 12 C: 13C ratios; and X-ray diffraction analysis for minerals. Most of the samples analyzed appear to be the result of man's activities.