Environmental science & technology, 15 January 2013, Vol.47(2), pp.701-9
As a proxy to trace the impact of anthropogenic activity, sedimentary polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are compared between the early industrialized and newly industrialized countries of Germany and China, respectively. Surface sediment samples in the Ammer River of Germany and the Liangtan River of China were collected to compare concentration levels, distribution patterns, and diagnostic plots of sedimentary PAHs. Total concentrations of 16 PAHs in Ammer sediments were significantly higher by a factor of ~4.5 than those in Liangtan. This contrast agrees with an extensive literature survey of PAH levels found in Chinese versus European sediments. Distribution patterns of PAHs were similar across sites in the Ammer River, whereas they were highly varied in the Liangtan River. Pyrogenic sources dominated in both cases. Strong correlations of the sum of 16 PAHs and PAH groups with TOC contents in the Liangtan River may indicate coemission of PAHs and TOC. Poor correlations of PAHs with TOC in the Ammer River indicate that other factors exert stronger influences. Sedimentary PAHs in the Ammer River are primarily attributed to input of diffuse sources or legacy pollution, while sediments in the Liangtan River are probably affected by ongoing point source emissions. Providing further evidence of a more prolonged anthropogenic influence are the elevated black carbon fractions in sedimentary TOC in the Ammer compared to the Liangtan. This implies that the Liangtan River, like others in newly industrialized regions, still has a chance to avoid legacy pollution of sediment which is widespread in the Ammer River and other European waterways.
Geologic Sediments -- Analysis ; Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons -- Analysis ; Rivers -- Chemistry ; Water Pollutants, Chemical -- Analysis ; Water Pollution, Chemical -- Analysis
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