The chemical behavior of stabilized oil ash reef blocks placed in the Atlantic Ocean on 7 April 1987 was investigated by studying the variation in concentration of selected elements in the reef blocks taken from the site after different periods of submersion. The overall objective of
this study was to determine the effectiveness of the stabilization process for retaining trace metals of environmental concern in the stabilized oil ash reef blocks. Duplicate reef block samples were retrieved from the reef site for evaluation after 2, 5, 8, 12, 18, 24, and 30 months. Samples
collected from the surface layer (less than 1 cm), middepth (about 5 cm from the top), and central parts of the block were ground to fine powder and then digested using HF-H3BO3 technique. An atomic absorption spectrophotometer equipped with Zeeman background correction
was used for the analysis of Al, Ca, Cu, Mg, Pb, Si, Y, and Zn. The overall results of chemical monitoring demonstrated that chemical interaction of the stabilized oil ash blocks with seawater over a 2.5-year-period of time was confined mainly to the surface layer (1 cm) of the block. Trace
metals analyzed were found to be retained in the stabilized oil ash reef blocks after their emplacement at sea.
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