Stable carbon isotopic apportionment of individual polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in St. John's Harbour, Newfoundland

Vincent P. O'Malley*, Teofilo Abrajano, Iocelyne Hellou

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    91 Scopus citations

    Abstract

    Much interest has recently focused on the quantitative apportionment of multiple sources of toxic and carcinogenic compounds in natural aquatic systems. Apportionment studies of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) are of great interest because, in addition to their suspected toxic and carcinogenic properties, they also have a wide range of potential natural and anthropogenic sources. This paper presents the results of a study where the primary source inputs of PAH to sediments of St. John's Harbour are quantitatively assessed using a combination of molecular abundance and carbon isotope measurements of individual (4- and 5-ring) PAH. Mass balance calculations using a two-component mixing model show that approximately 50- 80% of the PAH input to the Harbour sediments is of combustion origin, likely dominated by vehicular emissions carried by surface runoff from the city of St. John's. Direct petroleum-related contribution, possibly dominated by crankcase oil, accounts for the remaining 20-50% of the total PAH input.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)634-639
    Number of pages6
    JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
    Volume30
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Jan 1 1996

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Environmental Science(all)
    • Environmental Chemistry
    • Environmental Engineering

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