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Behaviour of selected PCBs, PAHs and gamma-HCH in the Scheldt estuary, S.W. Netherlands
van Zoest, R.; van Eck, G.Th.M. (1993). Behaviour of selected PCBs, PAHs and gamma-HCH in the Scheldt estuary, S.W. Netherlands. Neth. J. Aquat. Ecol. 27: 301-308
In: Netherlands Journal of Aquatic Ecology. Kluwer Academic Publishers/Netherlands Society of Aquatic Ecology: Bilthoven. ISSN 1380-8427, more
Peer reviewed article  

Also published as
  • van Zoest, R.; van Eck, G.Th.M. (1993). Behaviour of selected PCBs, PAHs and gamma-HCH in the Scheldt estuary, S.W. Netherlands, in: Meire, P. et al. (Ed.) Marine and Estuarine Gradients: ECSA 21: Proceedings of the 21st Symposium of the Estuarine and Coastal Sciences Association held in Gent, 9-14 september 1991. Netherlands Journal of Aquatic Ecology, 27(2-4): pp. 301-308, more

Available in Authors 
Document type: Conference paper

    Marine; Brackish water

Authors  Top 
  • van Zoest, R., more
  • van Eck, G.Th.M., more

    The behaviour of some organic micropollutants in the abiotic compartments water, particulate matter and bottom sediments of the Scheldt estuary, S.W. Netherlands, was studied between 1986 and 1989. Special attention was given to two individual PolyChlorinated Biphenyl congeners (PCB 52 and PCB 153), two Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) fluoranthene and benzo(a)pyrene and y-HCH. Dissolved PCBs and y-HCH behave conservatively during estuarine mixing. The concentration of y-HCH in the freshwater is extremely high in spring compared to the other seasons. Dissolved fluoranthene does not behave conservatively. The concentration of dissolved fluoranthene in the freshwater endmember shows a seasonal dependence with highest concentrations in winter and lowest in summer. Benzo(a)pyrene could hardly be detected in the dissolved phase with the methods used. PCBs and PAHs in particulate matter and sediments behave essentially conservatively as a result of the mixing of riverine particulates with high, and marine particulates with low organic micropollutant contents. Particulate fluoranthene is removed at low salinities under (nearly) anoxic conditions probably by microbial degradation. The rivers Scheldt and Rupel appear to be the major sources for the compounds studied. However, in particular the organic micropollutant contents of the sediments indicate that important emissions along the estuary were or are still present. Measurements of individual PCBs and PAHs in the <63 µm fraction of a dated sediment core from a salt marsh in the eastern part of the Scheldt estuary show that the recent input of PCBs and PAHs into the estuary is probably 2-3 times lower than the maximum input in the mid-1960s. The PCB profile shows post-depositional congener-selective mobilization caused by advective transport. The PAH assemblage is remarkably uniform in the sediment core. The PAH ratios indicate that combustion of coal is the main source of PAHs in the Scheldt estuary.

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