Origin and distribution of hydrocarbons and organic matter in the surficial sediments of the Sfax-Kerkennah channel (Tunisia, Southern Mediterranean Sea)

Abstract : We investigated the origin and distribution of aliphatic and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (AHs and PAHs) and organic matter (OM) in surficial sediments of the Sfax-Kerkennah channel in the Gulf of Gabès (Tunisia, Southern Mediterranean Sea). TOC, AH and PAH concentrations ranged 2.3–11.7%, 8–174 μg g−1 sed. dw and 175–10,769 ng g−1 sed. dw, respectively. The lowest concentrations were recorded in the channel (medium sand sediment) and the highest ones in the Sfax harbor (very fine sand sediment). AHs, PAHs and TOC were not correlated for most of the stations. TOC/N and δ13C values revealed a mixed origin of OM with both marine and terrestrial sources. Hydrocarbon molecular composition highlighted the dominance of petrogenic AHs and the presence of both petrogenic and pyrogenic PAHs, associated with petroleum products and combustion processes. This work underscores the complex distribution patterns and the multiple sources of OM and hydrocarbons in this highly anthropogenized coastal environment.
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Hatem Zaghden, Marc Tedetti, Sami Sayadi, Mohamed Moncef Serbaji, Boubaker Elleuch, et al.. Origin and distribution of hydrocarbons and organic matter in the surficial sediments of the Sfax-Kerkennah channel (Tunisia, Southern Mediterranean Sea). Marine Pollution Bulletin, Elsevier, 2017, 117 (1-2), pp.414 - 428. ⟨10.1016/j.marpolbul.2017.02.007⟩. ⟨hal-01622004⟩

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