Recent distribution and sources of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in surface soils from Yangtze river delta

Jing Ya Li, Di Wu, Yun Song Xu, Xiangdong Li, Xi Long Wang, Chao Hua Zeng, Xiao Fang Fu, Wen Xin Liu

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


All right reserved. A total of 243 surface soil samples collected from 11 cities in the Yangtze River Delta region were analyzed for the concentrations, spatial distribution, component profiles and emission sources of 29 PAH species. The analytical results indicated the total concentrations of PAHs in Yangtze River Delta fell in the range from 21.0 ng·g-1to 3578.5 ng·g-1with an arithmetic mean and standard deviation of 310.6 ng·g-1and 459.1 ng·g-1, respectively. Our data showed spatial distribution of PAHs concentrations varied greatly in the region. In addition, the contents of PAHs were positively correlated with the total organic carbon fractions in topsoil. The sites with the highest levels of PAHs in the 11 cities studied were located in Suzhou with 759.0 ng·g-1±1132.9 ng·g-1, followed by the areas of Wuxi and Shanghai, with the total PAHs concentrations of 565.3 ng·g-1±705.5 ng·g-1and 349.4 ng·g-1±220.1 ng·g-1respectively. The profiles of different components pointed to a predominant role of the species with 2-4 rings, and especially for the low molecular weight components with 2-3 rings. A preliminary identification on emission sources of local PAHs was performed by the specific ratios of isomeric species and principal component analysis (PCA). The results designated industrial coal and biomass combustion as the main mixed emission sources of PAHs in surface soils from Yangtze River Delta, and tail gas from transport as another major source in some areas.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)253-261
Number of pages9
JournalHuanjing Kexue/Environmental Science
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jan 2016


  • Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons
  • Preliminary source identification
  • Spatial distribution
  • Surface soil
  • Yangtze River Delta

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)


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