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Isotope forensics of polycyclic aromatic compounds (PACs) in a contaminated shallow aquifer.


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Ahad, Jason M. E.; Martel, Richard ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4219-5582 et Calderhead, Angus I. (2023). Isotope forensics of polycyclic aromatic compounds (PACs) in a contaminated shallow aquifer. Chemosphere , vol. 342 . p. 140169. DOI: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2023.140169.

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Diesel was accidently released into the shallow subsurface at an industrial site in the province of Québec, Canada, in the late 1980s. Subsequent remediation efforts removed much of the contamination; however, traces of petroleum hydrocarbons continue to impact the local aquifer. In addition to the historical diesel spill, more recent yet unconfirmed accidental releases from ongoing on-site and neighbouring industrial activities may have potentially contributed to elevated levels of polycyclic aromatic compounds (PACs) in groundwater. To identify the main source(s) of contamination, compound-specific stable carbon isotope ratios (δ13C) of PACs in groundwater monitoring wells were compared to those in asphalt produced from a nearby plant and in fuel oil #6 oil being used by local industry. The δ13C values of five individual compounds (biphenyl, C2-naphthalene, C1-fluorene, dibenzothiophene and phenanthrene) and two groups of combined C1-phenanthrenes/anthracenes in all groundwater samples were within analytical uncertainty (±0.5‰). Moreover, the δ13CPAC values in groundwater samples were distinct from those in asphalt and fuel oil #6, indicating negligible contributions from these sources. The similarity in δ13CPAC values across monitoring wells, including one situated in the former source zone containing a floating hydrocarbon phase, pointed to a common source of subsurface contamination that was attributed to the historical diesel spill. These results thus demonstrate that δ13CPAC values can be used for source apportionment in shallow aquifers decades after the original spill event.

Type de document: Article
Mots-clés libres: compound-specific; carbon isotopes; PAHs; groundwater; diesel
Centre: Centre Eau Terre Environnement
Date de dépôt: 07 déc. 2023 20:42
Dernière modification: 07 déc. 2023 20:42
URI: https://espace.inrs.ca/id/eprint/13751

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