Environmental Monitoring and Assessment

, Volume 145, Issue 1, pp 453–464

Concentrations and inventories of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and organochlorine pesticides in watershed soils in the Pearl River Delta, China

Article

DOI: 10.1007/s10661-007-0054-z

Cite this article as:
Ma, X., Ran, Y., Gong, J. et al. Environ Monit Assess (2008) 145: 453. doi:10.1007/s10661-007-0054-z

Abstract

The concentration levels, source, and inventories of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) in 55 surface vegetable soils in the watershed of the Pearl River Delta (PRD) were analyzed and compared with those of the surface sediments in the Pearl River Estuary (PRE) and northern South China Sea (SCS). The 16 priority PAHs on US EPA list range from 58 to 3,077 μg/kg (average: 315 μg/kg). The concentrations of DDTs and HCHs range from 3.58 to 831 μg/kg (average: 82.1 μg/kg) and from 0.19 to 42.3 μg/kg (average: 4.42 μg/kg). The ratios of DDT/ (DDD+DDE) are higher than 2 in majority of the soil samples, suggesting that DDT contamination still exists. The PAH ratios suggest that the source of PAHs is petroleum, and combustion of fossil fuel, biomass, and coal. The average concentrations of PAHs and the linear regression slope between PAHs and TOC for the soils and the sediments are quite similar. It was estimated that the soil mass inventories at 0–20 cm depth are 1,292 metric tons for PAHs and 356 metric tons for OCPs in the studied region. The average PAHs inventory per unit area for the soil samples investigated in PRD is about 0.86 time that of surface sediments in the Pearl River Estuary, and about 2.43 times that of surface sediments in the northern South China Sea. PAHs in the soils in PRD have similar source to those of the surface sediments in PRE. All of those may suggest that PAHs in PRE and SCS are probably mainly inputted from the soils in PRD via soil erosion and river transport.

Keywords

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons Organochlorine pesticides Source Inventory Soils 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xiaoxuan Ma
    • 1
    • 2
  • Yong Ran
    • 1
  • Jian Gong
    • 1
    • 2
  • Mengyao Zou
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Organic Geochemistry, Guangzhou Institute of GeochemistryChinese Academy of SciencesGuangzhouPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Graduate SchoolChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingPeople’s Republic of China