U.S. Department of Commerce


Date of this Version



Published in Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (1998) 17:9, pp. 1651–1652


Recently Page and coworkers concluded that polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) detected in the deeper subtidal sediments of Prince William Sound, Alaska, USA, derive from oil seeps in the northern Gulf of Alaska. Coal was erroneously dismissed as an alternative source of these PAHs, based on the claimed absence of reported coal deposits east of the Bering River coal field. The reference given to support this claim is apparently a geological map of western Prince William Sound. This map is irrelevant. In fact, a substantial coal field lies east of the Bering River field in the Robinson Mountains near Cape Yakataga.