The concentration of total polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (∑PAHs) and the 16 US EPA priority individual PAH compounds were analyzed in surface sediments from the Mai Po Inner Deep Bay, Ramsar Site of Hong Kong from December 2001 to Jun 2005, to investigate the spatial variability of anthropogenic pollutants. ∑PAHs concentrations ranged from 36.5 to 256.3 ng g-1 dry weight with an average of 148.9 ng g-1, comparable to other urbanized areas of the world, and there was little difference among different sampling times from December 2001 to June 2005. Based on comparison to the results from earlier study, it appears that a decrease of total PAHs concentration has occurred since 1992. Meanwhile, the concentrations of ∑PAHs were positive correlated with total organic carbon contents except sites F and G, suggesting the characteristics of the sediment influences the distribution and concentration of PAHs. There was relatively a good relationship among the individual PAHs and the compounds of fluorene, phenanthrene, anthracene, fluoranthene, pyrene, benzo[a]pyrene and indeno[cd]pyrene yielded a good correlation (r2>0.5) with total PAHs. Principal component analysis and specific PAHs compound ratios (Phe/Ant vs. Flt/Pyr) indicate the pyrogenic origins, especially traffic exhausts, are the dominant sources of PAHs in the Mai Po Inner Deep Bay Nature Reserve.
- Mai Po Ramsar Site