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Development of Molecular Radiocarbon Analyses for Tracing Trophic Transfer of Anthropogenic Contaminants in Salt Marsh Sediments

PIs: Stuart G. Wakeham (Skidaway Institute of Oceanography, Savannah, GA, USA)

Support: Georgia Sea Grant College Program (R/WQ-9-PD)

Timeframe: 10/1/99 - 2/28/01 (complete)

Project Overview:
The objective of this project development grant was to develop compound-specific radiocarbon techniques employing accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) to track metabolism and trophic transfer of anthropogenic contaminants into salt marsh bacterial biomass.

We have been successful in developing the instrumental capabilities for isolating individual and diagnostic bacterial membrane fatty acid biomarkers, the phospholipid fatty acids (PLFAs) isolated from coastal sediments (see below) using a preparative capillary gas chromatography (PCGC) system. The fractions thus obtained are then submitted to the National Ocean Sciences Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (NOSAMS) facility at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution for analysis of their natural radiocarbon content.

Our data set is still incomplete so at present we are unable to complete the planned publication. We expect that a paper will shortly be written and submitted to Organic Geochemistry.

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This page was updated October 13, 2006