Abundance, composition and vertical distribution of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in sediments of the Mai Po Inner Deep Bay of Hong Kong

Zhenye Zhao, Yi-Xuan Zhuang, Ji-Dong Gu
Ecotoxicology 2012, 21 (6): 1734-42
The distribution and changes of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) contamination in mangrove sediments of Mai Po Inner Deep Bay Ramsar Site of Hong Kong SAR were investigated. Surface sediments (10 cm) collected from four sampling sites (SZ, SP, MF and M) exhibited significant spatial variations in concentrations of total PAH (with ΣPAHs ranging from 161.7 to 383.7 ng g(-1) dry wt), as well as the composition of 16 US EPA priority PAH compounds. The highest PAHs concentrations were found in the mangrove sediments. Moreover, a sediment core was extracted from mangrove area is used to reconstruct the high-resolution depositional record of PAHs by (210)Pb isotope analysis, showing the amounts of PAHs remained relatively constant for the past 41 years. Urbanization of Shenzhen Economic Zone, the rapid increase in vehicle numbers and energy consumption in the last two decades contributed to the PAHs detected in sediments. The source-diagnostic ratios indicated that pyrogenic input are important throughout the record and the surface sediments, and suggest that diesel fuel combustion, and hence traffic of heavier vehicles, is the most probable cause of PAHs.

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