Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 19, Issue 2, pp 559–576 | Cite as

Aliphatic hydrocarbons, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, polychlorinated biphenyls, organochlorine, and organophosphorous pesticides in surface sediments from the Arc river and the Berre lagoon, France

  • Fehmi Kanzari
  • Agung Dhamar Syakti
  • Laurence Asia
  • Laure Malleret
  • Gilbert Mille
  • Bassem Jamoussi
  • Manef Abderrabba
  • Pierre Doumenq
Research Article



The Arc River and Berre lagoon are one of important river basin hydrosystem in the South of France that receives industrial and municipal wastewaters from the adjacent area.

Materials and methods

Due to its social and economic impact as well as ecological function of basin, an assessment of environmental risk due to mobilization of contaminants is necessary. Thus, the study aims to determine the spatial distribution of n-alkanes, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), organochlorine and organophosphorous pesticides in surface sediments and their potential origins by using gas chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry.

Results and discussion

Total alkanes concentrations ranged from 563 to 5,068 μg kg−1 sediment dry weight (dw), the sum of 17 PAHs ranged from 153 to 1,311 μg kg−1 dw, the sum of seven PCBs concentrations ranged from 0.3 to 466.8 μg kg−1 dw, and the total pesticides concentrations ranged from 0.02 to 7.15 μg kg−1 dw. Ratios of specific n-alcanes (carbon preference index, natural n-alkanes ratio, and terrigenous/aquatic ratio) and ratios of selected PAH (anthracene (Ant)/(Ant + Phe), fluoranthene (Fl)/(Fl + pyrène (Pyr)), BaA/(BaA + chrysene (Chry)), indeno[1,2,3,c,d]pyrene (IPyr)/(IPyr + BghiP)) were calculated to evaluate the possible sources of hydrocarbons.


The evaluations suggest the sources of hydrocarbons in the sediments were generally biogenic and markedly more pyrolytic rather than petrogenic. In the perspectives of environmental risk assessment, all contaminants levels were also compared with sediments quality guidelines (SQG) resulting that the contamination levels in all stations were most of the time lower than their respective SQG. While, for PCBs concentrations, three stations (A8, B1, and B2) were higher than their effect range median values which may indicate high potential toxicity of the sediment with probable adverse effects to the living biota.


Persistent organic compounds River basin Environmental chemistry Urban, agricultural, and industrial effluents 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fehmi Kanzari
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Agung Dhamar Syakti
    • 1
    • 4
  • Laurence Asia
    • 1
  • Laure Malleret
    • 1
  • Gilbert Mille
    • 1
  • Bassem Jamoussi
    • 3
  • Manef Abderrabba
    • 2
  • Pierre Doumenq
    • 1
  1. 1.Université Paul Cézanne Aix–Marseille 3, ISM2, UMR 6263, équipe AD2MAix-en–Provence Cedex 4France
  2. 2.Institut Préparatoire aux Etudes Scientifiques et Techniques (99/UR/12-01), équipe Physico-chimie moléculaire IPESTTunisieFrance
  3. 3.Institut Supérieur de l’Education et de la Formation Continue (ISEFC), Directeur du Département de Physique et ChimieTunisieFrance
  4. 4.Fisheries and Marine Sciences Department-Jenderal Soedirman UniversityPurwokertoIndonesia

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