TitleConcurrent assessment of diffusive and advective PAH movement strongly affected by temporal and spatial changes.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2023
AuthorsGhetu CC, Moran I L, Scott RP, Tidwell LG, Hoffman PD, Anderson KA
JournalSci Total Environ
Date Published2023 Nov 20

Chemical movement influences exposure, remediation and interventions. Understanding chemical movement in addition to chemical concentrations at contaminated sites is critical to informed decision making. Using seepage meters and passive sampling devices we assessed both diffusive and advective flux of bioavailable polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) at three time points, across two seasons, at a former creosote site in St. Helens, Oregon, United States. To our knowledge, this is the first time both diffusive and advective fluxes have been measured simultaneously at a contaminated site. Concentrations of 39 parent PAHs were determined by gas chromatography triple quadrupole mass spectrometry. Across both seasons and all sites, diffusive flux of PAHs was up to three orders of magnitude larger than advective flux. Release of PAHs from sediments and water were identified, likely from legacy contamination, as well as deposition from the air into the site from contemporary and other sources. The majority of PAH movement was comprised of three and four ring PAHs. Chemical movement on the site was found to be spatially and temporally variable. Volatilization decreased and atmospheric deposition increased from summer to fall. At the locations with higher levels of contamination, sum PAH release from sediments decreased by more than two orders of magnitude from summer to late fall. These data reflect the spatial heterogeneity and temporal variability of this site and demonstrate the importance of seasonality in assessing chemical movement at contaminated sites. Results from this study can inform future legacy site assessments to optimize remediation strategies and assess remediation effectiveness.

Alternate JournalSci Total Environ
PubMed ID37992832
Projects Reference: 
Chemical Movement