Alkanes at the Air-Sea Interface from Offshore Louisiana and Florida

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Science  18 Oct 1974:
Vol. 186, Issue 4160, pp. 261-263
DOI: 10.1126/science.186.4160.261


Alkanes at the air-sea interface were analyzed in 118 surface samples collected at five different intervals over a 12-month period from Timbalier Bay (Louisiana), ogfshore Louiisiana, and offshore Florida. The alkanes were characterized by gas chromatography and mass spectrometry. Unexpectedly, methyl branched alkanes ranging in chain length froin C15 to C35 and cycloalkanes were frequently the predominant components. This suggests that the alkanes are produced by natural biological sources as well as human activities.