Date of Award
Amy E. Witter
The concentrations and distributions of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and oxygenated PAHs (oxy-PAHs) in stream sediments collected from thirty-four sites along the Conodoguinet Creek were measured and analyzed. The sites are well-characterized in terms of adjacent land-use features as determined using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) data. It was found that urban areas are characterized by elevated concentrations of PAHs and oxy-PAHs representative of pyrogenic processes. A combination of GIS data and principal component analysis (PCA) were employed to interpret the concentration data, and the results demonstrate that oxy-PAHs show a higher potential than PAHs to distinguish among different pollutant sources in an urbanizing watershed. This work is, to our knowledge, the first study to propose oxy-PAHs as unique chemical markers that can serve as proxies for various land-use practices, and may aid in identifying pollutant sources that contribute to ecosystem decline.
Nguyen, Minh Huu, "Analysis of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHS) and Oxygenated PAHS in Stream Sediments Along an Increasingly Urbanized Land-Use Gradient: Conodoguinet Creek Watershed, Cumberland County, PA" (2010). Dickinson College Honors Theses. Paper 105.