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Long-term fate of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) in sediments from Loch Leven after closure of an aluminium smelter

Long-term fate of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) in sediments from Loch Leven after closure of an aluminium smelter
Long-term fate of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) in sediments from Loch Leven after closure of an aluminium smelter
An aluminium smelter discharged polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) into Loch Leven on the west of Scotland from 1907 until it closed in 2000, resulting in elevated PAH concentrations in the sediment. A temporal monitoring programme to investigate any recovery in sediment concentrations began in 2004, with sampling each year until 2008 and again in 2010. Cores were also collected to investigate temporal trends over a longer time scale and to estimate the sedimentation rate in the loch. The loch is divided into two basins, and PAH concentrations were significantly higher in the upper basin, closer to the smelter, than in the lower basin. The PAH distribution and concentration ratios were consistent with a pyrolytic source of PAHs, with a high proportion of heavier parent PAHs. There was no evidence of any recovery in PAH concentrations, perhaps due to the mixing and disturbances of the sediment, and the persistence of PAHs. Concentrations of all PAHs were above the Background Assessment Concentrations (BACs) in both basins. In the lower basin only the 5- and 6-ring PAHs were above the Effects Range Low (ERL) values, but in the upper basin all but naphthalene were above the ERLs. There is therefore still an unacceptable risk of chronic effects in marine species. Concentrations decreased down the cores, falling below BACs in the deepest sections. However, ERLs were exceeded as far down the core as 30 cm for some PAHs.
1464-0325
1335
McIntosh, A.D.
9bee5728-2af2-422f-b4c1-a5107a75620b
Fryer, R.J.
469b3ae8-e7af-4477-a38e-daff7f1999e2
Webster, L.
751d42c6-c6a3-4561-b2c2-c9697cc31e30
Cundy, A.B.
994fdc96-2dce-40f4-b74b-dc638286eb08
McIntosh, A.D.
9bee5728-2af2-422f-b4c1-a5107a75620b
Fryer, R.J.
469b3ae8-e7af-4477-a38e-daff7f1999e2
Webster, L.
751d42c6-c6a3-4561-b2c2-c9697cc31e30
Cundy, A.B.
994fdc96-2dce-40f4-b74b-dc638286eb08

McIntosh, A.D., Fryer, R.J., Webster, L. and Cundy, A.B. (2012) Long-term fate of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) in sediments from Loch Leven after closure of an aluminium smelter. Journal of Environmental Monitoring, 14 (5), 1335. (doi:10.1039/C2EM11006G).

Record type: Article

Abstract

An aluminium smelter discharged polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) into Loch Leven on the west of Scotland from 1907 until it closed in 2000, resulting in elevated PAH concentrations in the sediment. A temporal monitoring programme to investigate any recovery in sediment concentrations began in 2004, with sampling each year until 2008 and again in 2010. Cores were also collected to investigate temporal trends over a longer time scale and to estimate the sedimentation rate in the loch. The loch is divided into two basins, and PAH concentrations were significantly higher in the upper basin, closer to the smelter, than in the lower basin. The PAH distribution and concentration ratios were consistent with a pyrolytic source of PAHs, with a high proportion of heavier parent PAHs. There was no evidence of any recovery in PAH concentrations, perhaps due to the mixing and disturbances of the sediment, and the persistence of PAHs. Concentrations of all PAHs were above the Background Assessment Concentrations (BACs) in both basins. In the lower basin only the 5- and 6-ring PAHs were above the Effects Range Low (ERL) values, but in the upper basin all but naphthalene were above the ERLs. There is therefore still an unacceptable risk of chronic effects in marine species. Concentrations decreased down the cores, falling below BACs in the deepest sections. However, ERLs were exceeded as far down the core as 30 cm for some PAHs.

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More information

Published date: April 2012
Organisations: Geochemistry

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 399297
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/399297
ISSN: 1464-0325
PURE UUID: a1baca5d-d1ba-4ea8-9891-009b9665f065
ORCID for A.B. Cundy: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-4368-2569

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 10 Aug 2016 16:15
Last modified: 17 Dec 2019 01:34

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