Louisiana State University
Crude oil is elevated in one or more metallic elements that may be used as a tracer for following the movement of oil as it disperses from a spill site. In particular, vanadium is an element found in substantially elevated concentrations in many crude oil sources relative to levels found in uncontaminated soils, sediment-water systems, and seawater. Nickel is another element found elevated in most crude oils (Andrade, Covelo, Vega, and Marcet, 2004, Journal of Environmental Quality 33:2103-2110; Sasaki, Maki, Ishihara, and Harayama, 1998.
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