Impact of urbanization on the concentrations and distribution of organic contaminants in boreal lake sediments.

Abstract:

:The main goal of this study was to evaluate the impacts of a middle-sized Finnish urban area on the quality of sediments in an adjacent boreal lake. We investigated the sources and distribution of organic pollutants (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)) in the sediments from urban stormwater traps and from Lake Vesijärvi. Grab surface sediment samples were taken from Lake Vesijärvi at various distances (25-2,000 m) from four major stormwater drainage outlets and at 15 urban stormwater traps in areas with different degrees of urbanization. These samples were analysed for 16 PAHs and 28 PCBs with gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. The concentrations of pollutants in the lake sediments were elevated in the vicinity of the urban shore (∑PAH 3-16, ∑PCB up to 0.02-0.3 mg/kg dw) and decreased as a function of distance (∑PAH 0.1-2.5, ∑PCB 0.01-0.3 mg/kg dw at a distance of more than 500 m from the shore), whereas contamination levels in suburban areas were notably lower (∑PAH 0.1-3, ∑PCB < LOQ-0.03 mg/kg dw; did not decline with distance). Possible sources and pathways of contamination were also investigated. The majority of stormwater trap sediments contained predominantly asphalt-derived PAHs due to pulverized pavement. PAHs in lake sediments were of pyrogenic origin, including the combustion of gasoline, diesel and coal. Suggested pathways of lake contamination are urban runoff discharge, boat traffic and atmospheric deposition.

journal_name

Environ Monit Assess

authors

Honkonen O,Rantalainen AL

doi

10.1007/s10661-012-2643-8

subject

Has Abstract

pub_date

2013-02-01 00:00:00

pages

1437-49

issue

2

eissn

0167-6369

issn

1573-2959

journal_volume

185

pub_type

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