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Distribution and Sources of Aliphatic and Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons in Surface Sediments, Fish and Bivalves of Abu Qir Bay (Egyptian Mediterranean Sea)


Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) were detected and quantified in recent marine sediments and selected species from fishes, bivalves and crustaceans of Abu Qir Bay during the period January–October 2004. Nineteen sampling stations were chosen to collect sediment samples covering almost the Bay area. Total PAHs found in the surficial bottom sediments of the Bay were identified in moderate values ranging between 69 and 1,464 ng/g dry weights. The distribution pattern of these compounds showed the availability of most di, tri- and tetra aromatics in the Bay area in addition to their alkyl derivatives. High molecular weight aromatic hydrocarbons of five or more ring were detected everywhere in the Bay sediments. Certain number of pairs of isomer PAH concentrations are used for five origin molecular indices to identify the PAH concentration sources in the sediments of the Bay: Fluo/Py, Fluo/[Fluo + Py], LMW/HMW, BbF/BaP and BkF/BaP. Abu Qir Bay sediment samples were contaminated mainly by pyrolytic and petrogenic contaminations with strong pyrolytic inputs in the southwestern basin, while the northeastern area of the Bay is contaminated mainly by petrogenic PAHs. The studied biota samples of the Bay revealed levels of moderately contaminated specimens with total PAHs, while the carcinogenic PAH, benzo(a)pyrene were detected in most biological samples in levels ranged between 30.3 and 358 ng/g with an average of 152.4 ng/g should be taken into consideration.

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Correspondence to Tarek O. Said.

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El Deeb, K.Z., Said, T.O., El Naggar, M.H. et al. Distribution and Sources of Aliphatic and Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons in Surface Sediments, Fish and Bivalves of Abu Qir Bay (Egyptian Mediterranean Sea). Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 78, 373–379 (2007).

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  • PAHs
  • Sediment
  • Biota
  • Origin molecular indices
  • Sources