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Organic contaminant loads into the Western Mediterranean Sea: Estimate of Ebro River inputs

AuthorsGómez-Gutiérrez, Anna I.; Jover Comas, Eric; Bodineau, Laurent; Albaigés Riera, Joan; Bayona Termens, Josep María
KeywordsOrganochlorine compounds
River outflow
Contaminant transport processes
Contaminant loads
Temporal trends
Issue Date17-Apr-2006
CitationChemosphere 65(2): 224-236 (2006)
AbstractAnnual input estimates for several organic contaminants from the Ebro River into the Northwestern Mediterranean Sea were carried out on the basis of monthly sampling from November 2002 to October 2003. Some organochlorine compounds (DDT and its degradation products, DDD and DDE, PCBs (9 congeners), HCB and γ-HCH) were selected due to their reported occurrence in the river. Furthermore, some polar pesticides used in the Ebro Delta were also determined (atrazine, simazine, diazinon, fenitrothion and molinate). Concentrations ranged from 0.4 to 19.5 ng l−1 for the organochlorine compounds (sum of particulate and dissolved phases) and from not detected (ND) to 170 ng l−1 for the more polar pesticides, which were only found in the dissolved phase. The sum of PCB congeners (mean 8.9 ng l−1) showed the highest concentrations among the organochlorine compounds and atrazine (mean 82 ng l−1) among the polar pesticides. Based on the contaminant concentrations and on hydrological data, contaminant discharges into the sea were estimated amounting in total to 167 and 1258 kg year−1 of organochlorine compounds and polar pesticides, respectively. Furthermore, it was observed that PCBs, DDTs and HCB inputs were basically influenced by spate periods due to an increase in suspended particulate matter associated to runoff and sediment resuspension. Whereas for more water soluble contaminants, such as the agrochemicals, their seasonal use had a higher incidence in contaminant fluxes. Bulk chemical parameters such as SPM, DOC, POC, %OC, %ON and C/N ratio provided additional information on the organic matter sources. This provides a better understanding of the temporal variability of the contaminant concentrations.
Description13 pages, 6 figures.-- PMID: 16616295 [PubMed].-- Printed version published Oct 2006.
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