Distribution of priority polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in the sediment of Lake Balaton, Hungary

Eszter Bodnár, József Hlavay, János Abonyi

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The determination of 13 PAH pollutants was carried out on sediment samples collected at 27 sites at the Lake Balaton, Hungary. The aim was to investigate the distribution patterns of PAHs and the correlation of source-sink relationship. Sediment samples were collected from the upper 10 cm and from 20 to 70 cm depth. The dry mass ratio of the fine grain-size fraction (<0.063 mm) and the coarse sand sediments (0.063-500 mm) were analyzed. Principal component analysis (PCA) was performed on the PAH compositional data for 110 samples to estimate the distribution of PAHs in different compartments. The average concentration of PAHs was found as 132 μg/kg dry weight (11-1734 μg/kg) for all sites and depth. Considering the harbors, at some sites, 930-950 μg/kg of total PAHs were obtained. The ratio of phenantrene/ anthracene (PHE/AN) and fluoranthene/pyrene (FA/PY) indicated that most of the samples showed pyrogenic origin. It can be established that the upper 10 cm of the sediment is significantly more polluted than the deeper layers. The interim sediment quality guideline (ISQG) values and the probable effect level (PEL) were used to compare our findings with other data. No concentrations of PAHs were found higher than either ISQG and PEL values of samples collected inside of the lake, so the sediment has not been associated with adverse biological effects. However, the maximum concentrations of 7 out of 9 PAH compounds found in samples of harbors were higher than ISOG values but lower than PELs. Analysis of the harbor sediments revealed an elevated amount of contamination probably derived from the fuel of ships.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)791-803
Number of pages13
JournalPolycyclic Aromatic Compounds
Issue number4-5
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 2004



  • HPLC
  • Monitoring
  • PAHs
  • Principal component analysis
  • Sediment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Materials Chemistry

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