Balks, M. R., Paetzold, R. F., Kimble, J. M., Aislabie, J., & Campbell, I. B. (2002). Effects of hydrocarbon spills on the temperature and moisture regimes of Cryosols in the Ross Sea region. Antarctic Science, 14(04), 319-326.
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/933
Hydrocarbon spills have occurred on Antarctic soils where fuel oils are utilized, moved or stored. We investigated the effects of hydrocarbon spills on soil temperature and moisture regimes by comparing the properties of existing oil contaminated sites with those of nearby, uncontaminated, control sites at Scott Base, the old Marble Point camp, and Bull Pass in the Wright Valley. Hydrocarbon levels were elevated in fuel-contaminated samples. Climate stations were installed at all three locations in both contaminated and control sites. In summer at Scott Base and Marble Point the mean weekly maximum near surface (2 cm and 5 cm depth) soil temperatures were warmer (P<0.05), sometimes by more than 10°C, at the contaminated site than the control sites. At Bull Pass there were no statistically significant differences in near-surface soil temperatures between contaminated and control soils. At the Scott Base and Marble Point sites soil albedo was lower, and hydrophobicity was higher, in the contaminated soils than the controls. The higher temperatures at the Scott Base and Marble Point hydrocarbon contaminated sites are attributed to the decreased surface albedo due to soil surface darkening by hydrocarbons. There were no noteworthy differences in moisture retention between contaminated and control sites.
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This article is published in the journal, Antarctic Science. Copyright © Antarctic Science Ltd 2002.