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Title: Sources and spatial distribution of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in coastal sediments of the Basque Country (Bay of Biscay)
Authors: Legorburu, Irati; German Rodriguez, Jose; Valencia, Victoriano; Borja, Angel; Millan, Esmeralda; Galparsoro, Ibon; Larreta, Joana; Solaun, Oihana
Citation: CHEMISTRY AND ECOLOGY, 2014, 30, 701-718
Abstract: This contribution characterises the sources and distribution of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in sediments of the Basque coast (Bay of Biscay). Different source characterisation approaches (i.e. GIS assisted-chemometrics, PAH diagnostic ratios and analyses of composition profiles) were used in combination to successfully identify the factors determining the origin and distribution of PAHs. Urban/industrial combustion processes were identified as the main PAH source. However, the analysis of PAH composition patterns and diagnostic ratios identified secondary natural and petrogenic PAH sources on small spatial scales. The median n-ary sumation 18PAH concentration ranged from 66 mu gkg(-1) (d.w.) to 7021 mu gkg(-1) (d.w.). The Ibaizabal estuary, which supports most of the anthropogenic pressure in the region (i.e. urban development, industrialisation, commercial and recreational harbours), also showed the highest PAH concentrations. On the shelf, human activities, hydrodynamic conditions and geomorphological features led to spatial differences in the PAH concentrations among sectors: the offshore and west sectors were characterised by higher concentrations, while the lowest values were found in the mid and east sectors. The results enhance the knowledge on PAH-related contamination processes and could be used to support the environmental assessment process required under current European marine legislation.
Keywords: Bay of Biscay; sediment; spatial distribution; source characterisation; polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH); geographic information system (GIS); PAH SOURCE; SURFICIAL SEDIMENTS; MEDITERRANEAN SEA; MARINE-SEDIMENTS; STREAM SEDIMENTS; SIZE FRACTIONS; COAL-TAR; HARBOR; ESTUARY; CONTAMINATION
Issue Date: 2014
Publisher: TAYLOR \& FRANCIS LTD
Type: Article
Language: English
DOI: 10.1080/02757540.2014.894990
URI: http://dspace.azti.es/handle/24689/316
ISSN: 0275-7540
E-ISSN: 1029-0370
Funder: Basque Water Agency (URA)
Department of Environment and Territorial Planning of the Basque Government
Anarbeko Urak S.A.
Provincial Council of Gipuzkoa
Harbour Service of the Basque Government
Inaki Goenaga Technological Centres Foundation of the Basque Country
Appears in Publication types:Artículos científicos



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