Atmospheric distribution of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and deposition to Galveston Bay, Texas, USA Academic Article uri icon


  • Estimates of the atmospheric deposition to Galveston Bay of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are made using precipitation and meteorological data that were collected continuously from 2 February 1995 to 6 August 1996 at Seabrook, TX, USA. Particulate and vapor phase PAHs in ambient air and particulate and dissolved phases in rain samples were collected and analyzed. More than 95% of atmospheric PAHs were in the vapor phase and about 73% of PAHs in the rain were in the dissolved phase. Phenanthrene and napthalene were the dominant compounds in air vapor and rain dissolved phases, respectively, while 5 and 6 ring PAH were predominant in the particulate phase of both air and rain samples. Total PAH concentrations ranged from 4 to 161 ngm-3 in air samples and from 50 to 312 ngl-1 in rain samples. Temporal variability in total PAH air concentrations were observed, with lower concentrations in the spring and fall (4 34 ng m-3) compared to the summer and winter (37 161 ng m-3). PAHs in the air near Galveston Bay are derived from both combustion and petroleum vaporization. Gas exchange from the atmosphere to the surface water is estimated to be the major deposition process for PAHs (1211 g m-2yr-1), relative to wet deposition (130 g m-2yr-1) and dry deposition (99g m-2yr-1). Annual deposition of PAHs directly to Galveston Bay from the atmosphere is estimated as 2 tyr-1. 2001 Elsevier Science Ltd.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Park, J. S., Wade, T. L., & Sweet, S.

citation count

  • 140

complete list of authors

  • Park, JS||Wade, TL||Sweet, S

publication date

  • July 2001