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Atmospheric occurrence and deposition of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in the northeast tropical and subtropical Atlantic Ocean

AuthorsVento, Sabino del; Dachs, Jordi CSIC ORCID
KeywordsAtmospheric transport
Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs)
Wind speed
Aerosol loads
Issue Date14-Jul-2007
PublisherAmerican Chemical Society
CitationEnvironmental Science & Technology 41(16): 5608-5613 (2007)
AbstractAtmospheric transport and deposition of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) over tropical oceans has not yet been studied even though tropical oceans account for 35% of the global oceans. Here we show the results from measurements of gas- and aerosol-phase PAHs and dry deposition samples in the NE tropical Atlantic Ocean atmosphere, a region between 26° and 21° N, off shore of the Saharan desert. The results show that PAHs concentrations are high at the coastal ocean (15-20 ng m-3 for sum of 27 gas-phase individual PAHs) and decrease by a factor of 2-3 at open ocean (26° W). The spatial variability observed is consistent with dilution, reaction, and deposition during transport. Atmospheric dry deposition velocities ranged between 0.1 and 0.3 cm s-1 with higher deposition velocities for the more volatile PAHs. Outbreaks of Saharan Dust significantly increase the deposition rates of PAHs. The occurrence and deposition of PAHs in tropical regions is complex and results from the interplay of a number of processes, such as wind speed, aerosol loads, important sources from West Africa, processes controlling the diurnal variability, and sequestration driven by high primary productivity regions. The measured average atmospheric residence times of gas- and aerosolphase PAHs are 3.7 and 3.5 days, respectively.
Description6 pages, 3 figures.-- PMID: 17874762 [PubMed].-- Printed version published on Aug 15, 2007.
Supplementary information (Annexes I-VI, 4 figures, 2 tables, 10 pages) available at:
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Appears in Collections:(IDAEA) Artículos

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