Spatial and vertical distribution of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in mangrove sediments

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Author(s)

  • L. Ke
  • K. S H Yu
  • Y. S. Wong
  • N. F Y Tam

Detail(s)

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)177-187
Journal / PublicationScience of the Total Environment
Volume340
Issue number1-3
Publication statusPublished - 20 Mar 2005

Abstract

The distribution and historical changes of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) contamination in mangrove sediments in Hong Kong SAR were investigated. Surface sediments (2-3 cm) collected from four mangrove swamps exhibited significant spatial variations in concentrations of total PAH (with ΣPAHs ranging from 56 to 3758 ng g-1 dry wt), as well as the composition of 16 USEPA priority PAH compounds. Within a small swamp with an area of 0.68 ha, the total PAH concentrations also differed from sampling site to site, indicating that the PAH contamination is localized and confined to a very small area within the same swamp. Discharges from municipal and industrial wastewater, urban runoff, oil leakage from boats and ships, and accidental oil spill are possible sources of the PAH contamination. The sediment depth profiles reveal that the surface sediment layer (0-5 cm) had lower total PAH concentrations than that in the bottom layer (15-20 cm), and PAH composition also changed with the sediment layers. Based on the estimated annual sediment deposition rate in Hong Kong SAR of around 0.4-0.5 cm, the present findings suggest that the PAH contamination was most serious between 1958 and 1979 but started to decline thereafter. Such decline was probably due to changes in petroleum usage in urban areas and a better control of wastewater discharges from 1980 onwards in this region. © 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Research Area(s)

  • Historical contamination, Mangrove swamp, PAH profile, Variation

Citation Format(s)

Spatial and vertical distribution of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in mangrove sediments. / Ke, L.; Yu, K. S H; Wong, Y. S.; Tam, N. F Y.

In: Science of the Total Environment, Vol. 340, No. 1-3, 20.03.2005, p. 177-187.

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review