The present study investigated cross-media transport between both the sediment and the water column and between the water column and the atmosphere, to understand the role of each compartment as a source or a sink of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) in southern California, USA, coastal waters. Concentrations of PAH were measured in the atmosphere, water column, and sediment at four water-quality-impaired sites in southern California: Ballona Creek Estuary, Los Angeles Harbor, Upper Newport Bay, and San Diego Bay. These concentrations were used to calculate site-specific sediment–water and atmosphere–water exchange fluxes. The net sediment–water exchange of total PAH (t-PAH) was positive, indicating that sediments were a source to the overlying water column. Furthermore, the net atmosphere–water exchange (gas exchange + dry particle deposition) of t-PAH was typically positive also, indicating the water column was a net source of PAH to the surrounding atmosphere through gas exchange. However, in all cases, the magnitude of the diffusive flux of PAH out of the sediments and into the water column far exceeded input or output of PAH through air/water exchange processes. These results demonstrate the potential importance of contaminated sediments as a source of PAH to the water column in coastal waters of southern California. Environ. Toxicol. Chem. 2010;29:265–274. © 2009 SETAC
If you can't find a tool you're looking for, please click the link at the top of the page to "Go to old article view". Alternatively, view our Knowledge Base articles for additional help. Your feedback is important to us, so please let us know if you have comments or ideas for improvement.