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Application Of PAH And Biomarker Diagnostic Ratios In Forensic Oil Spill Identification By The Revised Nordtest Methodology


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WIT Press


A. B. Hansen, J. Avnskjold & C. A. Rasmussen


Application of PAH and biomarker diagnostic ratios in forensic oil spill identification by the revised Nordtest methodology A.B. Hansen1, J. Avnskjold1 & C. Aa. Rasrnussen2 1Department of Environmental Chemistry & Microbiology, National Environmental Research Institute (NERI,), Roskilde, Denmark. 2 Maritime Environment Section, Admiral Danish Navy, Arhus, Denmark. Abstract For some years Denmark, like several other countries, has used forensic oil spill identification based on GC-MS fingerprinting according to the Nordtest method for oil spill identification. With this methodology the chemical fingerprints are usually compared visually rendering the final conclusion subjective and dependent on the analyst's experience. As a result of a recent project initiated by Nordtest, a revised and improved methodology has incorporated PAH and biomarker diagnostic ratios and statistical evaluation to give more robust and technically defensible conclusions. In Denmark, the National Environmental Research Institute (NERI) is responsible for the forensic oil spill analysis as part of the national marine oil spill preparedness. In this paper we describe the implementation of the revised Nordtest methodology and the application of diagnostic ratios together with statistical evaluation for the forensic identification of a recent marine oil spill in Danish territorial water. 1 Introduction In Denmark, the National Environmental Research Institute (NERI) has been responsible for analysing and identifying oil spills as part of the national marine oil spill preparedness for more than 15 years. Chemical analyses are considered as an integrated and necessary part of the investigation and prosecution of maritime vessels suspected of violating the Marpol 73/78 convention. Until recently, NERI applied the Nordtest method for oil spill identification [1] as the standard procedure when performing forensic oil spill analyses. In 2000, Nordtest ini-