Jump to Main Content
Deposition Mapping of Polycyclic Aromatic Compounds in the Oil Sands Region of Alberta, Canada and Linkages to Ecosystem Impacts
- Cheng, Irene, Wen, Deyong, Zhang, Leiming, Wu, Zhiyong, Qiu, Xin, Yang, Fuquan, Harner, Tom
- Environmental science & technology 2018 v.52 no.21 pp. 12456-12464
- anthracenes, bitumen, chemical species, dry deposition, ecosystems, naphthalene, oil sands, phenanthrenes, polycyclic compounds, wet deposition, wildlife, Alberta
- This study produced gridded deposition estimates of polycyclic aromatic compounds (PACs), including 17 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), 21 alkylated PAHs (alk-PAHs), and 5 dibenzothiophenes (DBTs), over the oil sands region of Alberta, Canada and surrounding communities. Gridded annual total deposition of PACs in 2011 ranged from 55 to 175 000 μg m–² yr–¹ and the mean and median fluxes were 1700 and 760 μg m–² yr–¹, respectively. The domain-wide mean dry and wet deposition were 600 and 1100 μg m–² yr–¹. PAHs, alk-PAHs and DBTs contributed 19%, 74%, and 7% to the total dry deposition, and 42%, 49%, and 9% to the total wet deposition. Dominant chemical species contributing to total deposition were naphthalene, retene and phenanthrene for PAHs and C2-benz[a]anthracene/triphenylene/chrysene, C2-fluoranthene/pyrene and C2-fluorene for alk-PAHs. The highest PAC deposition was found over the surface mineable area, which received 9 times the deposition flux of outlying areas. Additional deposition hotspots were also observed south of the surface mineable area notably over in situ bitumen production sites. The deposition of alk-PAHs impacted a more extensive area than that of PAHs or DBTs. This result suggests that atmospheric deposition is a key process in wildlife exposure to PACs across the region.