Transport of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in highly vulnerable karst systems

Transport of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in highly vulnerable karst systems Fluxes of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) were investigated along the route of transport in a south German karst system. Atmospheric deposition, seepage water in caves and spring water at the outlet of the catchment were monitored continuously over 1.5 years allowing the establishment of an input/output mass balance at the catchment scale. The results reveal that, even in the highly vulnerable karst catchment, PAHs are effectively retained in the soils. Only during high discharge events, such as snowmelt in spring, increasing PAH concentrations at the outlet of the catchment indicates a mobilization of the pollutants. These events are typically correlated with increasing particle concentrations. Based on our results, we conclude that particle-facilitated transport is the dominating cause of PAH mobilization. In summary, PAHs accumulate over time in soils and only occasionally high discharge events cause a short concentration pulse to be flushed through the karst system. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Environmental Pollution Elsevier

Transport of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in highly vulnerable karst systems

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Publisher
Elsevier
Copyright
Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd
ISSN
0269-7491
D.O.I.
10.1016/j.envpol.2010.09.026
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Fluxes of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) were investigated along the route of transport in a south German karst system. Atmospheric deposition, seepage water in caves and spring water at the outlet of the catchment were monitored continuously over 1.5 years allowing the establishment of an input/output mass balance at the catchment scale. The results reveal that, even in the highly vulnerable karst catchment, PAHs are effectively retained in the soils. Only during high discharge events, such as snowmelt in spring, increasing PAH concentrations at the outlet of the catchment indicates a mobilization of the pollutants. These events are typically correlated with increasing particle concentrations. Based on our results, we conclude that particle-facilitated transport is the dominating cause of PAH mobilization. In summary, PAHs accumulate over time in soils and only occasionally high discharge events cause a short concentration pulse to be flushed through the karst system.

Journal

Environmental PollutionElsevier

Published: Jan 1, 2011

References

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