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Keywords:

  • 2010 oil spill;
  • Deepwater Horizon;
  • Gulf of Mexico;
  • PAHs

[1] Mesozooplankton (>200 μm) collected in August and September of 2010 from the northern Gulf of Mexico show evidence of exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Multivariate statistical analysis revealed that distributions of PAHs extracted from mesozooplankton were related to the oil released from the ruptured British Petroleum Macondo-1 (M-1) well associated with the R/VDeepwater Horizon blowout. Mesozooplankton contained 0.03–97.9 ng g−1 of total PAHs and ratios of fluoranthene to fluoranthene + pyrene less than 0.44, indicating a liquid fossil fuel source. The distribution of PAHs isolated from mesozooplankton extracted in this study shows that the 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill may have contributed to contamination in the northern Gulf of Mexico ecosystem.