Earth, Space, and Environmental Chemistry

Spatial and Temporal Distributions of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons in Sediments from the Canadian Arctic Archipelago

Anne Corminboeuf Université du Québec à Rimouski - Institut des sciences de la mer


The concentrations of 23 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs; 16 parent and 7 alkylated PAHs) in 113 surface marine sediment samples, 13 on-land sediment samples and 8 subsampled push cores retrieved from the Canadian Arctic Archipelago (CAA) were calculated. PAHs were extracted via accelerated solvent extraction (ASE) and quantified via gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). The sums of the concentrations 16 PAHs in the surface sediments ranged from 7.8 to 247.7 ng g-1 (dry weight [dw]) basis). The PAH inputs to the sediments have remained constant during the last century and agree with the results obtained for the surface sediments. Diagnostic ratios indicated that the PAHs in the CAA mainly originate from natural petrogenic sources, with some pyrogenic sources. Temporal trends did not indicate major source shifts and largely indicated petrogenic inputs. Overall, the sediments retrieved from the CAA have low PAH concentrations that are mainly natural.


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