Uptake of naphthalenes by the clam, Rangia cuneata, in the vicinity of an oil separator platform in Trinity Bay, Texas.




Fucik, K.W.
Armstrong, H.W.
Neff, J.M.

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American Petroleum Institute


In three separate experiments, the clam, R.cuneata was exposed under and near an oil separator platform in Trinity Bay, Texas for periods of approximately 100 days. The greatest naphthalenes uptake was in those clams exposed beneath the platform. Clams exposed at distances of 150-1000 m from the platform showed little or no uptake of naphthalenes. In clams returned to the lab and allowed to depurate, most of the accumulated naphthalenes were released although detectable levels remained in some of the clams after 47 days. There was good correlation between the rates of naphthalenes uptake by the clams and naphthalenes levels in the sediments at the different stations. However, clams analyzed by gas chromatographic techniques showed high levels of weathered hydrocarbons suggesting that the sediments are a source of hydrocarbons accumulated by the clams. The results are discussed in relation to the physical features of Trinity Bay which is a very shallow, semi-enclosed body of water with a high suspended sediment load.




Rangia cuneata, naphthalene, oil separator platform, gas chromatography, sediments