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Distribution and fate of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in recent sediments from the Gulf of Gdańsk (SE Baltic)

Author(s): Ludwik Lubecki | Grażyna Kowalewska

Journal: Oceanologia
ISSN 0078-3234

Volume: 52;
Issue: 4;
Start page: 669;
Date: 2010;
Original page

Keywords: sediment pollution | sediments | hydrocarbons | risk assessment | PAHs | coastal zone | Baltic | Gulf of Gdańsk

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) were determined in recent (0-10 cm) sediments from the Gulf of Gdańsk during 2003-07 andcorrelated with environmental parameters. Located in the south-eastern part of the Baltic and receiving the waters of the River Wisła(Vistula), this area of negligible tides and strong anthropogenic stress, highly eutrophic as a consequence, is an exceptionalmodel basin for studying the fate of hydrophobic organic contaminants introduced to the sea. Environmental conditions determine thedistribution and composition patterns of parent PAHs in Gulf of Gdańsk sediments. PAHs were associated mainly with fine particlesediments, rich in organic carbon, with hypoxia/anoxia near the bottom. The highest PAH contents were found in the Gdańsk Deep(ca 110 m), where the mean concentration of Σ12PAHs was ~3600 ng g-1, and no distinct temporal trend was observed.Lighter PAHs were found to be depleted in deeper regions. It was estimated that the Wisła discharges ~50% of the total PAH load deposited in recent Gulf sediments.