Spatial distribution and sources of organic matter and pollutants in the SE Mediterranean (Levantine basin) deep water sediments

P. Astrahan, J. Silverman, Y. Gertner, B. Herut

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

A study of deep sea sediment quality was conducted at 52 stations off the Mediterranean coast of Israel (50–1900 m depth). Total Organic Carbon (TOC), Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (∑ PAHs), Poly Chlorinated Biphenyls (∑ PCBs) ranged between 0.58 and 1.44%, 12–190 and < 0.3–7.7 μg kg− 1, respectively. The TOC distribution indicated the Nile delta as an important source of organic matter and the important effect of topography on deposition patterns in this region. PCBs and PAHs quantitative levels were associated with nearby gas well drilling (well below environmental criteria) and dredge-material dumping sites. A significant correlation between these pollutants and TOC was found in the southernmost stations suggesting a common source. PAHs isomer ratios in most of the stations indicated a petrogenic source, while the contribution of pyrogenic sources appears to be very small. These findings form a sound baseline for assessing the potential impact of future deep sea drilling activities that are expected to increase significantly in the Eastern Mediterranean basin.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)521-527
Number of pages7
JournalMarine Pollution Bulletin
Volume116
Issue number1-2
DOIs
StatePublished - 15 Mar 2017
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Elsevier Ltd

Keywords

  • Levantine
  • Organic carbon
  • PAHs
  • PCBs
  • Sediments

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Aquatic Science
  • Oceanography

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