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Enrichment of organochlorine contaminants in the sea surface microlayer: An organic carbon-driven process

AuthorsGarcía-Flor, Nuria; Guitart, Carlos; Ábalos, Manuela CSIC; Dachs, Jordi CSIC ORCID; Bayona Termens, Josep María; Albaigés Riera, Joan
KeywordsSea surface microlayer
Polychlorinated biphenyls
Organochlorine pesticides
Enrichment factors
Phase partitioning
Issue Date1-Jun-2005
CitationMarine Chemistry 96(3-4): 331-345 (2005)
AbstractOver 50 seawater samples from two different sites—Barcelona (Spain) and Banyuls-sur-Mer (France)—were analyzed in order to study the extent and postulate the processes driving the enrichment of hydrophobic organic pollutants in the sea surface microlayer (SML). A number of individual polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) congeners (41) were measured to study their partitioning between the particulate (fraction > 0.7 μm) and the dissolved + colloidal phases (fraction < 0.7 μm), with the latter being differentiated into estimated dissolved and colloidal phases. In addition, several organochlorine pesticides were also measured, namely, HCB, α-HCH, γ-HCH, 4,4′-DDE, 4,4′-DDD and 4,4′-DDT. The presence of PCB congener profiles found in the SML suggests a dynamic coupling with the atmosphere in Banyuls sampling site, whereas offshore Barcelona the presence of highly chlorinated congeners was due to persistent sediment resuspension. The average PCB concentration in the SML dissolved + colloidal phase were higher in Banyuls (7.8 ng L− 1) than in Barcelona (3.6 ng L− 1) samples, but in the particulate phase concentrations were higher in Barcelona (3.2 ng L− 1) to that of Banyuls (1.4 ng L− 1). However, PCB concentrations in the SML generally also showed large variability. Enrichment factors of PCBs and other organochlorine compounds in the SML with respect to the underlying water column ranged from 0.2 to 7.4. This may be explained for both the dissolved + colloidal and particulate phases by the enrichment in the SML of organic carbon (OC) as discerned from particle–water and colloid–water partitioning.
Description15 pages, 5 figures.-- Printed version published Sep 1, 2005.
Publisher version (URL)
ISSN0304-4203 (Print)
Appears in Collections:(IDAEA) Artículos

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