Comparison of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in sediments from the Songhuajiang River (China) during different sampling seasons

Wei Guo, Mengchang He, Zifeng Yang, Chunye Lin, Xiangchun Quan, Haozheng Wang
Journal of Environmental Science and Health. Part A, Toxic/hazardous Substances & Environmental Engineering 2007, 42 (2): 119-27
The Songhuajiang River watershed is the important industrial and foodstuff base in the northeast part of China. However, the increasing population, industrial and agricultural activities around the Songhuajiang River lead to the introduction of contaminants and the possibility of polluting the river. This investigation represents an extensive study of the spatial and temporal distribution of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in the sediment samples collected from the Songhuajing River in flood season (August, 2005) and icebound season (December, 2005) by using the gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC/MS) analyses. In flood season, the total PAHs concentrations in sediments ranged from 84.44 ng g-1 to 14938.73 ng g-1, with average concentration of 2430.37 ng g-1. In icebound season, the total PAHs concentrations in sediments ranged from 23.61 ng g-1 to 15310.25 ng g-1, with average concentration of 1825.60 ng g-1. Compared to the concentration of PAHs between central sediment and riverbank-exposed sediment at some stations, the concentration in exposed sediment was higher than that in the central sediment in the upstream of river. It was also observed that the concentration of PAHs in flood season was higher than that in icebound season. The level of PAHs in the sediments of Songhua River was higher in comparison with values reported from other river and marine systems in the world. The most contaminated sediment samples were found in the upstream area of Songhuajiang River located near Jilin petrochemical industrial company for both flood and icebound seasons. The 4-6 ring PAHs were dominated in sediments due to their higher persistence. There was positive correlation between total PAHs concentration in sediment samples and TOC or LOI (r = 0.62 and r = 0.58, P < 0.01, n = 31). The calculated ratio of selected PAH and principal component analysis (PCA) suggests the contamination source of PAHs were combined inputs of pyrolytic and petrogenic contamination, due to the discharge from municipal and industrial wastewater runoff and atmospheric fallout.

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