Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in surface sediments of the East China Sea and their relationship with carbonaceous materials

Chin-Chang Hung, Gwo-Ching Gong, Fung-Chi Ko, Hung-Jen Lee, Hung-Yu Chen, Jian-Ming Wu, Min-Lan Hsu, Sen-Chueh Peng, Fan-Hua Nan, Peter H Santschi
Marine Pollution Bulletin 2011, 63 (5-12): 464-70
This study measured concentrations of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in surface sediments in the East China Sea (ECS) to investigate possible sources and fate of PAHs. Total concentration of PAHs in the sediments of the ECS ranged from 22 to 244 ng g(-1), with the highest levels in the coastal area and outer shelf. The observed PAH results showed elevated levels in both inner and outer shelf areas, a finding that is different from predictions by an ocean circulation model, suggesting that terrestrial sources are important for PAH contaminations in the ECS, while sediment resuspension, tidal changes and lateral transport may be important in affecting the distribution of PAHs in the outer shelf. The distribution of PAHs in the surface sediments of the ECS is similar to the distribution of carbonaceous materials (e.g., particulate organic carbon and black carbon), suggesting that carbonaceous materials may strongly affect the distribution of PAHs.

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