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Ecological indicators and source diagnostic ratios of aliphatic and polyaromatic hydrocarbons in marine sediments of Qatar

Version 2 2023-10-22, 10:04
Version 1 2023-06-14, 05:44
journal contribution
revised on 2023-10-22, 10:03 and posted on 2023-10-22, 10:04 authored by Maryam A. Abdulla, Azenith B. Castillo, Christopher Collins, Tom Sizmur

The marine ecosystems surrounding oil and gas production sites are particularly vulnerable to ecological harm that may be affected by its operations. In this study, we examined the composition, contaminant sources, and the potential ecological risk of aliphatic hydrocarbons (AH) and polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) in the marine sediments along the western coast of Qatar. The ∑AHs concentration ranged from <0.10 to 246 ng⋅g−1 (site SD2) while the ∑PAH concentration ranged from <0.10 to 44 ng⋅g−1 (site SD10). Pollution concentration profile was site specific where AH and PAH concentrations were relatively higher within close proximity to the oil and gas production. TOC appeared to be positively correlated with PAH and therefore a good indicator for PAH but not for AH. Low molecular weight even-carbon numbered alkanes (n-C10-18) were more abundant than the higher molecular weight (n-C20-34) AHs. The∑16PAHs compositional analysis mean concentrations were composed of 2-ring (6%), 3-ring (18%), 4-ring (48%), 5-ring (28%), and 6-ring (0.14%), respectively. Fluoranthene obtained the highest concentration of 11 ng⋅g−1 (site SD10). Diagnostic ratios and hydrocarbon parameters suggested mixed sources of petrogenic, pyrolytic, and biomass except for vehicular traffic. The overall results for AH and PAH indicated low pollution based on pollution criteria and were below the threshold limit set by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Canadian Sediment Quality Guidelines (CSQG). This suggests low probability of a negative toxic effect caused by these contaminants however, continuous long term-monitoring is needed to ensure these pollutants do not exceed the current levels.

Other Information

Published in: Regional Studies in Marine Science
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Open Access funding provided by the Qatar National Library



  • English



Publication Year

  • 2023

License statement

This Item is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Institution affiliated with

  • Qatar University
  • Environmental Science Center - QU

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