Distribution and sources of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in the water column of Kongsfjorden, Arctic

Guangshui Na , Ruijing Li , Hui Gao , Zhongqiang Ji , Shuaichen Jin , Linke Ge , Humin Zong , Liping Jiao , Zhifeng Zhang


Received June 18, 2019,Revised , Accepted April 13, 2020, Available online June 04, 2020

Volume 32,2020,Pages 186-193

Kongsfjorden is known for its characteristic multi-layer water mass formed by the convergence of freshwaters from nearby glaciers and rivers and saline water from the Atlantic and Arctic. The distribution of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in the water column of Kongsfjorden was investigated and their potential sources were analyzed. The total concentrations of 16 PAHs in the surface seawater and river water were in the range of 33.4−79.8 ng/L (mean 48.5 ng/L) and 2.3−201.4 ng/L (mean 126.1 ng/L), respectively. Horizontally, PAHs were mainly concentrated around river estuaries and the glacier front in the dissolved phase. Vertically, the PAHs in the particulate phase followed surface-enrichment and depth-depletion patterns in most stations, with the maximum concentration found at 50 m depth in the central area of Kongsfjorden. The compositions of PAHs in seawater and rivers were similar, with two-ring and tricyclic PAHs comprising the majority of the dissolved and particulate phases. PAHs found in Kongsfjorden waters appeared to be derived from multiple sources such as petroleum and coal combustion. PAHs in the bay mouth of Kongsfjorden were mainly introduced by the West Spitsbergen Current and the Arctic waters, while in the inner bay, atmospheric deposition and local sources were the major contributors. The distribution of PAHs was mainly attributed to the suspended particulate distribution.

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