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Seasonality of diffusive exchange of polychlorinated biphenyls and hexachlorobenzene across the air-sea interface of Kaohsiung Harbor, Taiwan

Fang, Meng-Der, Ko, Fung-Chi, Baker, Joel E., Lee, Chon-Lin
Science of the total environment 2008 v.407 no.1 pp. 548-565
water pollution, wind, polychlorinated biphenyls, seasonal variation, seawater, hexachlorobenzene, air pollution, Taiwan
Gaseous and dissolved concentrations of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and hexachlorobenzene (HCB) were measured in the ambient air and water of Kaohsiung Harbor lagoon, Taiwan, from December 2003 to January 2005. During the rainy season (April to September), gaseous PCB and HCB concentrations were low due to both scavenging by precipitation and dilution by prevailing southwesterly winds blown from the atmosphere of the South China Sea. In contrast, trace precipitation and prevailing northeasterly winds during the dry season (October to March) resulted in higher gaseous PCB and HCB concentrations. Instantaneous air-water exchange fluxes of PCB homologues and HCB were calculated from 22 pairs of air and water samples from Kaohsiung Harbor lagoon. All net fluxes of PCB homologues and HCB in this study are from water to air (net volatilization). The highest net volatile flux observed was +172 ng m⁻ ² day⁻¹ (dichlorobiphenyls) in December, 2003 due to the high wind speed and high dissolved concentration. The PCB homologues and HCB fluxes were significantly governed by dissolved concentrations in Kaohsiung Harbor lagoon. For low molecular weight PCBs (LMW PCBs), their fluxes were also significantly correlated with wind speed. The net PCB and HCB fluxes suggest that the annual sums of 69 PCBs and HCB measured in this study were mainly volatile (57.4x10³ and 28.3x10³ ng m⁻ ² yr⁻¹, respectively) and estimated yearly, 1.5 kg and 0.76 kg of PCBs and HCB were emitted from the harbor lagoon surface waters to the ambient atmosphere. The average tPCB flux in this study was about one-tenth of tPCB fluxes seen in New York Harbor and in the Delaware River, which are reported to be greatly impacted by PCBs.