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Aliphatic and Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons in Gulf of Trieste Sediments (Northern Adriatic): Potential Impacts of Maritime Traffic

July 23, 2014

The Gulf of Trieste (northern Adriatic) is one of the most urbanized and industrialized areas in the northern Adriatic, with intense maritime traffic experienced at multiple ports. The impact of maritime traffic on contamination by hydrocarbons in this area was assessed. Concentrations of hydrocarbons were higher near the expected contamination sources and still elevated in the adjacent offshore areas. Aliphatic hydrocarbons were mainly of petrogenic origin, with some contribution of biogenic origin. A continuous contamination by aliphatic hydrocarbons and degradation processes were hypothesized. Concentrations of total polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) were generally greater near the contamination sources. Compared to the prevailing pyrolytic origin, the petrogenic PAH origin seemed to be less important, but not negligible. Results revealed that intensive maritime traffic is a probable source of contamination by hydrocarbons in the investigated area, which is largely limited to areas near the contamination sources.

Bajt O, in press: Aliphatic and Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons in Gulf of Trieste Sediments (Northern Adriatic): Potential Impacts of Maritime Traffic, Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology, doi:10.1007/s00128-014-1321-7. Article (subscription required).

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