Oil carbon entered the coastal planktonic food web during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill

  • Graham W
  • Condon R
  • Carmichael R
 et al. 
  • 179


    Mendeley users who have this article in their library.
  • 111


    Citations of this article.


The Deepwater Horizon oil spill was unprecedented in total loading of petroleum hydrocarbons accidentally released to a marine ecosystem. Controversial application of chemical dispersants presumably accelerated microbial consumption of oil components, especially in warm Gulf of Mexico surface waters. We employed δ 13 C as a tracer of oil-derived carbon to resolve two periods of isotopic carbon depletion in two plankton size classes. Carbon depletion was coincident with the arrival of surface oil slicks in the far northern Gulf, and demonstrated that subsurface oil carbon was incorporated into the plankton food web.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Gulf of Mexico
  • Petroleum hydrocarbon
  • Stable isotope
  • Zooplankton

Get free article suggestions today

Mendeley saves you time finding and organizing research

Sign up here
Already have an account ?Sign in

Find this document


  • William M. Graham

  • Robert H. Condon

  • Ruth H. Carmichael

  • Isabella D'ambra

  • Heather K. Patterson

  • Laura J. Linn

Cite this document

Choose a citation style from the tabs below

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free