Aliphatic and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in the surface sediments of the Mediterranean: assessment and source recognition of petroleum hydrocarbons

Ahmed El Nemr, Manal M El-Sadaawy, Azza Khaled, Suzanne O Draz
Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 2013, 185 (6): 4571-89
Coastal marine sediment samples were collected from ten sampling stations along the Egyptian Mediterranean coast in April 2010. All sediment samples were analyzed for aliphatic (C7 to C34) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) as well as total organic carbon (TOC) contents and grain size analysis. Total aliphatic hydrocarbons ranged from 1621.82 to 9069.99 ng/g (dry weight), while aromatic hydrocarbons (16 PAHs) varied between 208.69 and 1020.02 ng/g with an average of 530.68 ± 225.86 ng/g dwt. Good correlations observed between certain PAH concentrations allowed to identify its origin. The average TOC percent was varied from 0.13 to 1.46 %. Principal component analysis was used to determine the sources of hydrocarbon pollutants in sediments of Mediterranean. Additionally, special PAHs compound ratios suggest the petrogenic origins.

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