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Spatial Distribution of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons from Lake Taihu, China


A total of 30 sediments, overlying water and porewater samples were collected from Lake Taihu, China for the analysis of PAHs. The total PAHs varied from 209 to 3,843 ng g−1 in sediments, from 238 to 7,422 ng L−1 in overlying water and from 2,012 to 19,899 ng L−1 in porewater, respectively. There are good correlations between sediment-porewater/sediment-overlying water partition coefficients and PAHs’ logKow values, with correlation coefficient of 0.94 and 0.95, respectively. The sediment PAHs in Lake Taihu originated from both pyrolytic and petrogenic sources, showing a mixed input pattern. Based on the numerical effect-based sediment quality guidelines of the United States, the sediments from Lake Taihu causing adverse effects by PAHs should have potential biological impact, but should have no impairment.

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This work was financially supported by China’s national basic research program: “Water environmental quality evolution and water quality criteria in lakes” (2008CB418201).

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Correspondence to Jian Xu.

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Zhang, Y., Lu, Y., Xu, J. et al. Spatial Distribution of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons from Lake Taihu, China. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 87, 80–85 (2011).

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  • Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons
  • Taihu
  • Sediment
  • Porewater
  • Overlying water
  • Partition