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Air/water exchange dynamics of 13 volatile chlorinated C1- and C2-hydrocarbons and monocyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in the southern North Sea and the Scheldt estuary



Air/water exchange dynamics of 13 volatile chlorinated C1- and C2-hydrocarbons and monocyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in the southern North Sea and the Scheldt estuary



Environmental Science & Technology. 32(7): 903-911, Il 1



Whereas a lot of marine research work has been done on heavy metals and semivolatile organic compounds, far less attention has been paid to the fate of volatile organic compounds in this area. This work focuses on 13 volatile organic compounds in marine waters and the marine atmosphere. During six campaigns in September 1994-December 1995, simultaneous air and water sampling was carried out in both the southern North Sea area and the Scheldt Estuary. Mean water concentrations for individual compounds were in the 2.2-72.9 ppt range (n = 38), whereas atmospheric concentrations varied between 2.3 and 854 pptv. Samples from the Scheldt Estuary proved to have elevated concentrations of chlorinated compounds. A number of water and air samples showed enhanced concentrations of C2-substituted monocyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, which could not clearly be linked to anthropogenic activities. Back-trajectory calculations showed that a number of over sea atmospheric samples were affected by atmospheric transport from industrial sites, 250-300 km upwind. Fugacity modeling showed that the North Sea acts as a source to the atmosphere, not as a sink. Mean water to air mass transfer rates varied between 0.6-52.7 mug m-2 day-1 for all VOCs. It was statistically shown that water to air exchange rates of tetrachloroethylene, benzene, and toluene were slowed when air masses from continental origin were at the marine sampling sites instead of air masses from remote noncontinental origin.

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Accession: 008122701

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DOI: 10.1021/es970765f


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