Persistence profile of polyaromatic hydrocarbons in shallow and deep Gulf waters and sediments: effect of water temperature and sediment-water partitioning characteristics

Mar Pollut Bull. 2011 Dec;62(12):2659-65. doi: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2011.09.026. Epub 2011 Oct 21.


Persistence profiles of selected polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) were analyzed depending on temperature variations in the water column and water-sediment interactions in the Gulf of Mexico. The PAHs studied include anthracene, fluoranthene, pyrene, and chrysene. The half-lives of PAHs in the deep waters (over 1000 m) are about twice as long as those in the shallow areas (100-150 m), and almost 2.5 times as long as those in the top layer (0-10 m) of the water column. The half-lives of the PAHs in the sediments are significantly longer. Among the PAHs studied, chrysene is the most persistent in the water column, and pyrene is the most persistent in the sediments. The half-life of chrysene in the shallow and deep waters is over 2.5 and about 5 years, respectively. For pyrene, the half-life in the shallow and deep sediments is about 9 and 16 years, respectively.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Environmental Monitoring
  • Geologic Sediments / analysis
  • Geologic Sediments / chemistry*
  • Gulf of Mexico
  • Half-Life
  • Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons / analysis
  • Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons / chemistry*
  • Salinity
  • Seawater / analysis
  • Seawater / chemistry*
  • Temperature
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical / analysis
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical / chemistry*


  • Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical