A molecular evaluation of contaminants and natural organic matter in bottom sediments from western Lake Ontario

Michael Kruge, P. K. Mukhopadhyay, C. F.M. Lewis

Research output: Contribution to journalConference article

27 Scopus citations

Abstract

Py-GC/MS analysis of bottom sediment from Lake Ontario was shown to be effective in assessing organic contaminants, especially attractive as it is a rapid technique requiring little sample preparation. Pyrolyzates of samples richer in organic matter (OM) were relatively enriched in aliphatic hydrocarbons and pyrrolic nitrogen compounds, while leaner samples were more aromatic and pyridinic. Alkylbenzene and alkylphenol distributions in the pyrolyzates were most compatible with derivation from aquatic (algal, bacterial) OM. The organonitrogen compounds indicated the presence of degraded proteinaceous material from aquatic sources and/or sewage. Normal and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon distributions indicate, at least in part, contributions of fossil fuels and combustion residues. These observations were confirmed by organic petrologic examination. The ubiquitous input of aquatic OM to the sediments (enhanced by anthropogenic nutrient oversupply) was supplemented by fossil fuel-derived contamination, in proportions varying with proximity to industrial sites and shipping lanes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1797-1812
Number of pages16
JournalOrganic Geochemistry
Volume29
Issue number5-7 -7 pt 2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Nov 1998
EventProceedings of the 1997 18th International Meeting on Organic Geochemistry. Part 2 (of 2) - Maastricht, Neth
Duration: 22 Sep 199726 Sep 1997

Keywords

  • Environmental geochemistry
  • Lacustrine organic matter
  • Lake Ontario sediments
  • Organic contamination
  • Pyrolysis-gas chromatography/mass spectrometry

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