, Volume 588, Issue 1, pp 145–157 | Cite as

Fluxes of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in the Seine estuary, France: mass balance and role of atmospheric deposition

  • A. Motelay-MasseiEmail author
  • D. Ollivon
  • B. Garban
  • K. Tiphagne-Larcher
  • M. Chevreuil


Measurements of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) were carried out from 2001 to 2003 in various environmental compartments (ambient air, atmospheric deposition, soils, sediments, runoff, and surface waters) in the Seine Estuary. The goal of this study was to identify the importance of atmospheric fluxes to occurrence of PAHs in the estuary, and to estimate the major pathways of their transport and accumulation within this ecosystem. The annual atmospheric inputs in the estuary ranged from 2.5 to 16 kg for the first sampling year, which is high when compared to those calculated for other European locations. In parallel, PAH transport from the atmosphere to the watershed outlet was investigated for two rural and urban small experimental watersheds within the Seine Estuary. In rural areas, atmospheric inputs are higher than exported loads by surface water and PAHs are accumulating in soils. The inverse occurs in urban areas, where the contribution of atmospheric deposition is negligible compared with PAH exported loads by runoff. These results allowed us to establish a mass balance for PAHs on the scale of the Seine Estuary, and to determine the dynamics of PAH transport. This study highlights the role of the atmospheric compartment in the transfer of contaminants and the importance of the local PAH inputs within the Seine Estuary.


PAHs Atmospheric deposition Runoff Seine Estuary Mass balance 



This work was funded by the scientific program “Seine Aval” and by the Agence de l’Environnement et de la Maîtrise de l’Energie (ADEME). Our sincere thanks go to Colette Chesterikoff and Annie Desportes for their technical contribution. Thanks to Dr Tom Harner and Pete Van Metre for their helpful comments.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Motelay-Massei
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • D. Ollivon
    • 3
  • B. Garban
    • 3
  • K. Tiphagne-Larcher
    • 3
  • M. Chevreuil
    • 3
  1. 1.Département de Géologie, UMR CNRS 6143, Faculté des Sciences et TechniquesUniversité de RouenMont-Saint-Aignan CedexFrance
  2. 2.Environment Canada, Meteorological Service of Canada, Air Quality Processes Research DivisionDownsviewCanada
  3. 3.Laboratoire Hydrologie et Environnement, UMR Sisyphe 7619 CNRS, Ecole Pratique des Hautes EtudesUniversité Pierre et Marie CurieParis cedex 5France

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