Natural and anthropogenic particulate-bound aliphatic and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in surface waters of the Gulf of Gabès (Tunisia, southern Mediterranean Sea)
Particulate-bound aliphatic and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (AHs and PAHs) were investigated in the surface waters of the Gulf of Gabès (Tunisia, southern Mediterranean Sea). Samples were collected off the Sfax and Gabès-Ghannouch coasts. Concentrations in total resolved n-alkanes ranged from 0.03 to 3.2 μg L−1, and concentrations in total parents + alkylated PAHs ranged from bdl to 108.6 ng L−1. The highest concentrations were recorded in the southern Sfax. AHs were mainly of biogenic origin with odd n-alkane predominance, although an anthropogenic contribution was also detected. The PAH molecular patterns revealed a mixed origin with the presence of low molecular weight and alkylated compounds, characteristic of uncombusted oil-derived products, and the presence of high molecular weight compounds, typical of combustion residues. Rainfall events induced an increase in PAH concentrations by a factor 1.5–23.5. The particle-water partition coefficients (Koc) suggest that the partitioning of PAHs between the particulate and dissolved phases is driven by hydrophobicity and organic matter composition.
Publisher URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11356-017-0641-7
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