PAHs could be transported to Tibetan Plateau in accompany with atmospheric circulation. The forest regions were found be an important sink for PAHs, while their distributions and migrations in forest are still uncertain. In this study, soil profile samples were collected in southeastern Tibet and the concentrations, distributions, and migration of PAHs in forest region were investigated. The PAHs levels in the forest soils were at the low end of remote sites, ranged from 27.4 to 120.3 ng g−1 on a dry weight based. Due to low ambient temperature and high organic carbon content, enrichment of PAHs was found in higher altitude on north side. According to the soil profiles, the vertical distributions of PAHs in organic layers were mainly influenced by pedogenesis, while the vertical distributions in mineral layers were dominated by downward leaching effect. Enrich factor (EF) of PAHs was estimated, and the values in organic layers were positively correlated with the octanol–air partition coefficients (K OA), but EFs in mineral layers decreased with the K OA values. PAHs in the surface soils on the north side of forest were relatively stable, while the migration of PAHs on the south sides and other clearing sites was more active. The leaching rates of PAHs in clearing site ranged between 1.42 and 29.3%. The results from this study are valuable on the characterization of PAHs in Tibetan Plateau.
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This study was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (41071321 and 41671480) and Youth Innovation Promotion Association (CAS2011067). We would like to thank all supporting staffs at the Southeastern Tibet Observation and Research Station for providing an alpine environment and assisting the sample collections on fields.
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Xue, Y., Wang, X., Gong, P. et al. Distribution and vertical migration of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in forest soil pits of southeastern Tibet. Environ Geochem Health 40, 1941–1953 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10653-017-9969-7
- Forest soil
- Southeastern Tibet
- Vertical migration