Seasonal soil/snow-air exchange of semivolatile organic pollutants at a coastal arctic site (Tromsø, 69°N)

Abstract : Soils are a major reservoir of semivolatile organic pollutants such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and exert a control on their atmospheric occurrence. We present here an assessment of the atmospheric occurrence and seasonality of soil/snow-air partitioning and exchange of PCBs, PAHs, hexachlorobenzene (HCB), and hexachlorocyclohexanes (HCHs) in the arctic city Tromsø, northern Norway. The fugacities of the organic pollutants in soils and snow were determined using a soil fugacity sampler by equilibrating the air concentrations with those in the surface soil/snow. The concentrations in soils did not show a significant seasonality. Conversely, the ambient air concentrations and the soil (or snow) fugacity showed a clear seasonality for PCBs, HCH, HCB and some PAHs, related to temperature. Fugacities in soil/snow were correlated with those in the ambient gas phase, suggesting a close seasonal air-soil/snow coupling. Generally, there was a net deposition or close to equilibrium conditions during the winter, which contrasts with the net volatilization observed during the warmer periods. The chemicals with lower octanol-air partition coefficients showed a larger tendency for being volatilized and thus remobilized from this coastal arctic environment. Conversely, the more hydrophobic compounds were close to air-soil/snow equilibrium or showed a net deposition.
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Paulo Casal, Javier Castro-Jiménez, Mariana Pizarro, Athanasios Katsoyiannis, Jordi Dachs. Seasonal soil/snow-air exchange of semivolatile organic pollutants at a coastal arctic site (Tromsø, 69°N). Science of the Total Environment, Elsevier, 2018, 636, pp.1109-1116. ⟨10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.04.330⟩. ⟨hal-01785141⟩

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