Dataset Authors

Isabel Romero


We measured polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in tissue (guts and muscle) of mesopelagic fishes in the Gulf of Mexico prior to, six weeks after, and one year after the oil spill (2007, 2010 and 2011). Analysis of PAHs was conducted following modified EPA method 8270D and QA/QC strict protocols. Freeze-dried fish samples undergo lipid extraction using an automated solvent extraction system with cyclohexane and dimethylchloride. Detection and quantification of PAH homologues were performed by using a gas chromatograph/mass spectrometric detector (GC/MS) in full scan mode (m/z 50-550) with splitless injections of 1µL and helium as the carrier gas. Concentrations were calculated using response factors by comparison with a known standard mixture. Overall results indicate mesopelagic fishes sampled during 2010 and 2011 contain PAH concentrations up to 10-fold higher than samples collected in 2007. The data suggest that PAHs from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill was incorporated into the mesopelagic food web of the Gulf of Mexico.


Supplemental Information

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs measured in ng/g) The following is a list of PAHs used in the analysis: Naphthalene (N) and alkylated homologues (NC1-C4); Acenaphthylene (ACL); Acenaphthene (ACE); Fluorene (F); Dibenzothiophene (D); Phenanthrene (P), Anthracene (AN) and their alkylated homologues (P/ANC1-C4); Fluoranthene (FL), Pyrene (PY) and their alkylated homologues (FL/PYC1-C4); Benz[a]anthracene (BAA), Chrysene (C) and their alkylated homologues (BAA/CC1-C4); Benzo[b]fluoranthene (BBF); Benzo[k]fluoranthene (BKF); Benzo[a]pyrene (BAP), Dibenz[a,h]anthracene (DA) and alkylated homologues (BP/PERC1-C4); Indeno[1,2,3-cd]pyrene (ID); Benzo[ghi]perylene (BGP). Spatial Information: The following are the coordinates for the 3 sample sites referenced in the dataset: SITE 1: 28.6365, -87.8685; SITE 2: 27.63625, -88.350233; SITE 3: 27.1623, -86.01675; ||chromatograph/mass spectrometric detector (GC/MS)|||


The dataset was developed to determine if PAH concentrations increased in mesopelagic fishes in the Gulf of Mexico after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.


Oil spill, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, baseline levels




November 2015

Point of Contact


Isabel C. Romero


University of South Florida / College of Marine Science

Funding Source




Rights Information

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication 1.0 License.