Biodegradation of oil-contaminated sediments: Effect of a dispersant and natural organic matter Conference Paper uri icon


  • The microbial response of sediments slurries to oil and dispersed oil was studied. The dispersant Corexit 9500 significantly elevated respirometric activity in aerobic incubations of wetland sediment slurries contaminated with Arabian medium crude oil. Despite elevated respirometric activity, remaining total target saturates were substantially higher in the dispersant treated reactors although a significant effect was not determined. Aromatics were equivalent in the dispersant treated slurries suggesting that oil degradation was not enhanced but that the dispersant acted as a competitive substrate. Sediments containing higher organic matter contents resulted in increased respirometric activity and oil degradation. The natural organic matter present in sediments supported indigenous microbial populations that opportunistically effect oil degradation upon contamination. This is an abstract of a paper presented at the 26th Arctic and Marine Oilspill Program Technical Seminar (Victoria, British Columbia 6/10-13/2003).

published proceedings

  • Environment Canada Arctic and Marine Oil Spill Program Technical Seminar (AMOP) Proceedings

author list (cited authors)

  • LaRiviere, D., Autenrieth, R. L., & Bonner, J. S.

complete list of authors

  • LaRiviere, D||Autenrieth, RL||Bonner, JS

publication date

  • December 2003