Concentrations and Sources of Aliphatic and Aromatic Hydrocarbons in Babolsar Coastal Sediments in the Caspian Sea

Document Type : Original Research Paper


1 School of Environment, College of Engineering, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

2 School of Engineering, Ulster University, Shore road, Newtownabbey, UK


This paper presents concentrations and sources of Aliphatic and Aromatic Hydrocarbons in the sediments from Babolsar coastal area and the inlet of Babolrood River in the southern side of the Caspian Sea. The concentration of hydrocarbons in 13 sediment samples from the study area were measured by gas chromatography (GC). Total Petroleum Hydrocarbon (TPH) concentrations in sediment samples in the coastal area ranged from 115 to 201 μg/g. In the inlet samples, TPH concentrations were close to each other and ranged from 294 to 367 μg/g. The TPH results showed moderate level of oil pollution in the study area. Total Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (ΣPAHs) concentrations in sediment samples inside the inlet ranged from 498 to 702 ng/g, indicating moderate level of pollution. Concentrations of ΣPAHs in sediment samples in the coastal area ranged from 341 to 1703 ng/g, indicating moderate to less than significant level of pollution. Developed indices for pollutant origins showed that hydrocarbons in all sediment samples collected in the study area had petrogenic origin. The results also showed the Babolrood River as the main source of oil pollution in the sediments in the study area.


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