Use of low-molecular-hydrocarbon concentrations as indicators of marine pollution.
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Large areas of coastal water offshore Texas and Louisiana have low- molecular-weight hydrocarbons than open ocean surface water. These high levels are most certainly petroleum-derived and due to offshore petroleum production operations. The observed high levels of C1 and C3 hydrocarbons do not seem to be detrimental to marine life, but nevertheless serve as sensitive indicators of the more toxic components of petroleum which usually are being simultaneously introduced to the ocean.