Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 25, Issue 10, pp 9539–9546 | Cite as

Oil mixing behavior after an oil spill: identification conflicts of different fingerprints

  • Shijie He
  • Hongjun Yu
  • Yongming Luo
  • Chuanyuan Wang
  • Xueshuang Li
  • Zhongping Li
Research Article


Clearing up whether spilled oil is mixed or not can strengthen the accuracy of oil spill identification. In the present study, the biomarkers in spilled oil samples were detected. The weathering modes of different types of diagnostic ratio and carbon isotope values of individual n-alkanes were also analyzed. The results showed that the diagnostic ratios of steroids, terpenes and aromatics, and weathering characteristics of carbon isotope composition (δ13C) of individual n-alkanes supported the idea that Dalian oil spill emerged from a single oil source. Furthermore, commonly used diagnostic ratios of n-alkanes indicated that the Dalian oil spill had undergone the oil mixing process. The different identifying outcomes indicate that some kinds of n-alkane-rich substance (such as oil dispersants) were mixed in the Dalian spilled oil and interfered with the routine diagnosis ratios of n-alkanes.


Dalian oil spill Mixing spilled oils Diagnostic ratios Carbon isotope composition of individual n-alkanes Oil spill identification 


Funding information

This work was financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 41206089) and the “1-3-5” Research Program of Yantai Institute of Coastal Zone Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences (Nos. Y254021031 and Y455011031).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shijie He
    • 1
    • 2
  • Hongjun Yu
    • 2
    • 3
  • Yongming Luo
    • 2
  • Chuanyuan Wang
    • 2
  • Xueshuang Li
    • 1
  • Zhongping Li
    • 4
  1. 1.Coast InstituteLudong UniversityYantaiPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Yantai Institute of Coastal Zone ResearchChinese Academy of SciencesYantaiPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Deep Sea Base Management Center, State Oceanic AdministrationQingdaoPeople’s Republic of China
  4. 4.Key Laboratory of Petroleum Resources Research, Institute of Geology and GeophysicsChinese Academy of SciencesLanzhouPeople’s Republic of China

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