A total of 98 Lutjanus campechanus otoliths were analyzed by ICPMS from collections made from both artificial
reefs and oil and gas platforms in Alabama and Louisiana over a two-year period from 2002 to 2003. The 15 stable
isotopes analyzed in this study were 51V, 59Co, 62Ni , 64Zn, 66Zn, 65Cu, 107Ag, 109Ag, 110Cd, 111Cd, 114Cd, 206Pb, 207Pb, 208Pb
and 238U. This suite of elements was chosen because they were most likely to be present at oil and gas platforms in the
metals and other materials used in artificial reefs, and in the circulating heavy “muds” used while drilling wells. A series
of statistical analyses were performed to establish the statistical structure of the data. Linear and stepwise discriminant
analyses were performed to show that by using subsets of all the elements measured, it was possible to discriminate
among artificial reefs and oil and gas platforms at average misclassification rates of the order of 10%.