Aquatic environment

Distribution of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in sediments from YellowRiver Estuary and Yangtze River Estuary, China

HUI Yamei , ZHENG Minghui , LIU Zhengtao , GAO Lirong


Received February 09, 2009,Revised April 30, 2009, Accepted , Available online

Volume 21,2009,Pages 1625-1631

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Surface sediment samples collected from twenty-one sites of Yellow River Estuary and Yangtze River Estuary were determined for sixteen priority polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) by isotope dilution GC-MS method. The total PAH contents varied from 10.8 to 252 ng/g in Yellow River Estuary sediment, and from 84.6 to 620 ng/g in Yangtze River Estuary sediment. The mean total PAH content of Yangtze River Estuary was approximately twofold higher than that of Yellow River Estuary. The main reasons for the di erence may be the rapid industrial development and high population along Yangtze River and high silt content of Yellow River Estuary. The evaluation of PAH sources suggested that PAHs in two estuaries sediments estuaries were derived primarily from combustion sources, but minor amounts of PAHs were derived from petroleum source in Yellow River Estuary. PAHs may be primary introduced to Yellow River Estuary via dry/wet deposition, wastewater e uents, and accidental oil spills, and Yangtze River Estuary is more prone to be a ected by wastewater discharge.

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