Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in surface sediments of the mid-Adriatic and along the Croatian coast: Levels, distributions and sources

Type Article
Date 2018-11
Language English
Author(s) Mandic Jelena1, 2, Tronczynski Jacek1, Kuspilic Grozdan2
Affiliation(s) 1 : IFREMER, Ctr Atlantique, Dept Ressources Biol & Environm, BP 21105, F-44311 Nantes 03, France.
2 : IOF, Setaliste I Mestrovica 63, Split 21000, Croatia.
Source Environmental Pollution (0269-7491) (Elsevier Sci Ltd), 2018-11 , Vol. 242 , N. Part A , P. 519-527
DOI 10.1016/j.envpol.2018.06.095
WOS© Times Cited 10
Keyword(s) Marine sediments, Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), Source profiles, Source apportionment, Source-receptor models

This study provides contamination levels, distributions and source apportionment of PAHs in surface sediments in the mid-Adriatic and along the Croatian coast. Median summed concentrations of parent and alkyl-PAHs are circa 10 times lower in the off-shore transect stations of the mid-Adriatic (22.3 and 18.2 μg.kg−1 d.w.) than the ranges determined at the coastal stations, including those of Kaštela bay (227–331 and 11.7–197 μg.kg−1 d.w., respectively). The highest levels, circa 20 times higher, were found in Šibenik bay (median 6603 and 3051 μg.kg−1). The overall range of PAH concentrations spans more than 2000 times between the lowest and the highest contamination level. The geographical distributions reflect the presence of strong gradients at local and regional scales. A major factor influencing sedimentary PAH distributions at local scale appears to be the distance from their known continental and coastal upstream emission sites (urban, industrial, harbour …), whereas at regional scale, this distribution depends more on the routes of entry of PAHs into the study area. Two combustion and one petroleum model source profiles of PAHs were determined by alternative least square analysis. Benzo[b+j]fluoranthenes and fluoranthene/pyrene are compounds characterizing two pyrogenic sources respectively, while signatures of alkyl-substituted homologues (phenanthrenes/anthracenes, fluranthenes/pyrenes, chrysenes and dibenzothiophenes) delineate a petrogenic source profile. The quantitative apportionment of source contributions shows significant geographical differences, with a dominant petrogenic source found along the mid-Adriatic transect (approximately 74%) and in Kaštela bay (61%). In the coastal sediments about a fifty-fifty contamination mix is assigned to a petrogenic/pyrogenic source of PAHs (47% and 53% respectively), whereas in Šibenik bay a strong predominance is apportioned to the combustion compounds (81%).

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