Master of Science (MS)


Environmental Sciences

Document Type



The number of pipelines transporting crude oil and other refined petroleum products across the U.S. has increased 15.4% from 2004 to 2013. In Louisiana, over 3,450 miles of liquid petroleum pipelines crisscross the state. In January 2013, crude oil was accidentally released from an underground pipeline into Bayou Sorrel, Louisiana. This freshwater wetland is located within the Atchafalaya River Basin which is home to large populations of wild crawfish that could be impacted by the crude oil released. This study aims to assess the potential lethal impacts that crude oil spill may have produced in adult crawfish (P. clarkii) and determine if the hepatopancreas will accumulate polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) during exposure. Adult crawfish exposed for 96 hours to sediment contaminated with weathered crude oil concentrations of 30,000 ppm were determined to have a survival rate of no less than 87.7%. A modified QuEChERS extraction, dispersive solid-phase cleanup and a GC-MS system was used to quantitate the concentrations of PAHs in the crawfish hepatopancreas tissue. The PAH concentrations increased with increasing oil treatment level, but were not above a level of concern used by the FDA to assess PAH contamination in shrimp and crabs after the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill event. Therefore it is unlikely that the crawfish in this study would be deemed unsafe for human consumption.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Wilson, Vincent Lee