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Fate of particle-bound polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in the river-influenced continental margin of the northern Gulf of Mexico
- Adhikari, P.L., Maiti, K., Bam, W.
- Marine pollution bulletin 2019 v.141 pp. 350-362
- ecosystems, particulate organic carbon, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, salinity, sediments, water pollution, Gulf of Mexico
- This study utilizes suspended particles and seafloor sediments collected from the northern Gulf of Mexico (GOM) continental margin to study the fate, transport, residence times and accumulation rates of particle-bound polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Total particulate-PAHs and particulate organic carbon (POC) varied between 0.9 and 7.0 ng/L, and 4–131 μg/L, respectively. Particulate-PAHs were positively correlated with POC, while both particulate-PAHs and POC were negatively correlated with salinity (P-value < 0.05). These results show that the river-derived particle influx and associated POC are important vectors for transport and fate of particulate-PAHs in the river-dominated northern GOM continental ecosystems. The composition of underlying seafloor sediment-PAHs were not correlated to the water column particulate-PAHs, which is attributed to re-mineralization, sediment resuspension/redistribution and different timescales of comparison. The 210Pb-derived residence time of particles and associated particulate-PAHs in water column varied between 2 and 39 days. Residence times of particulate-PAHs were significantly correlated with seafloor sediment-PAHs accumulation rates, shorter water column residence times leading to higher PAHs accumulation rates.