Key Laboratory of Marine Sedimentology and Environmental Geology, First Institute of Oceanography, Ministry of Natural Resources, Qingdao 266061, China; Laboratory for Marine Geology, Pilot National Laboratory for Marine Science and Technology (Qingdao), Qingdao 266061, China. Electronic address: [Email]
In this study, we firstly report the application of a dual-isotope approach for the source apportionment of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in the East China Sea (ECS). The δ13C and δ2H isotope signatures of the PAHs were determined in the surface sediments collected from the ECS. Statistical modeling based on a Bayesian Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) framework was used to the environmental dual-isotope PAH data. An end-member PAH isotope database was also compiled to account for the uncertainties and quantitative contributions on the potential PAH sources, including coal combustions, liquid fossil fuel combustions, biomass combustions and petrogenic sources. The results indicate that the PAHs in the ECS had a clear predominance of the coal combustion source (~42%). The combustion of liquid fossil fuels, biomass as well as petrogenic sources represented approximately 23%, 21%, and 11% of the total PAH burden, respectively. This study on the source apportionment of environmental PAHs will provide a reference for improvingemission inventories of the PAHs, and also give guidance for the efforts to extenuate PAH pollutions in the marginal sea.