A Multi-Metric Index for Hydrocarbons Source Apportionment

Document Type : Original Research Paper


Environmental Sciences Research Institute, Shahid Beheshti University, P.O.Box 1983963113,Tehran,Iran


Several studies have been conducted to develop more accurate and precise indices for hydrocarbons source apportionment. The present study, however, develops a new multi-metric index for hydrocarbons source apportionment. It measures Poly Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) concentration at six stations with well known petrogenic origin, calculating Phe/An, Flu/Py, Chr/BaA, BaA/Chr, An/(An+Ph), Flu/(Flu+Pyr), and IP/(IP+Bghi) indices. All the indices could correctly determine the source of hydrocarbons, except for IP/(IP+Bghi). Subsequently, it uses principle component analysis method to create a combined multi-metric index, based on PAHs, the concentration of which also contributes to the evaluation of new index performance in stations with known origins. Results show that the new multi-metric index can determine the source of hydrocarbons with greater certainty. Then, using this index, the potential source of contamination in the area has been divided into six sections, namely HPY, MPY, LPY, MPE, HPE, and LPE, which indicate origin of high, moderate, and low risk of petrogenic contamination, as well as source of pyrolytic contamination with high, moderate, and low probabilities.


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