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

Abdulla, M. A., Castillo, A. B., Collins, C. and Sizmur, T. ORCID: (2023) Ecological indicators and source diagnostic ratios of aliphatic and polyaromatic hydrocarbons in marine sediments of Qatar. Regional Studies in Marine Science, 64. 103042. ISSN 2352-4855

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1016/j.rsma.2023.103042


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 ΣAHs concentration ranged from <0.10 to 246 ng·g-1 (site SD2) while the ΣPAH 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 Ʃ16PAHs 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.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Science > School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science > Earth Systems Science
Science > School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science > Department of Geography and Environmental Science
Interdisciplinary centres and themes > Soil Research Centre
ID Code:112272


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