Accession Number : AD0610396

Title :   THE ORGANIC CHEMICAL COMPOSITION OF THE OCEAN SURFACE.

Descriptive Note : Interim rept.,

Corporate Author : NAVAL RESEARCH LAB WASHINGTON D C

Personal Author(s) : Garrett,W. D.

Report Date : 24 DEC 1964

Pagination or Media Count : 17

Abstract : An analytical survey has been conducted to determine the organic chemical constitution of the sea. Special emphasis was placed upon the nature of the surface-active water-insoluble components present in the sea surface. Samples were collected under various oceanographic conditions from the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, the Gulf of Lower California, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Bay of Panama. The water-insoluble organic constituents were isolated from these samples and were analyzed by infrared spectroscopy, microelemental analysis, and various gas chromatographic techniques. The following conclusions were drawn from a comparison of the analytical data with the sea conditions which existed at the time the samples were taken. The major water-insoluble organic constituents of the sea are fatty esters, free fatty acids, fatty alcohols, and hydrocarbons. These chemical types are general to all areas sampled, but specific differences within these classes exist from one location to another. For example, the distribution of the various fatty acids and alcohols varies according to the meteorological and oceanographic conditions prevalent at a particular location. A competition for adsorption sites exists at the surface between the various chemical species. The higher molecular weight and less water-soluble fatty acids and alcohols are the most surface-active and likely to be found adsorbed at the surface while the more water-soluble or less surface-active entities are excluded from the surface by the fatty material when competitive adsorptive processes occur.

Descriptors :   (*OCEANOGRAPHY, CHEMISTRY), (*ORGANIC COMPOUNDS, OCEANOGRAPHY), (*SURFACE ACTIVE SUBSTANCES, OCEANOGRAPHY), FATTY ACID ESTERS, FATTY ACIDS, ALCOHOLS, HYDROCARBONS, SOLUBILITY, ADSORPTION, GAS ANALYSIS, MONOMOLECULAR FILMS, INFRARED SPECTROSCOPY

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE