Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons in Soils and Recent Sediments

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Science  04 Apr 1975:
Vol. 188, Issue 4183, pp. 53-55
DOI: 10.1126/science.188.4183.53


Soils and recent marine sediments contain a complex polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon assemblage. There is a high degree of similarity in the molecular weight distribution of the many series of alkyl homologs of these aromatic hydrocarbons, and this distribution varies little over a wide range of depositional environments. The evidence suggests that these hydrocarbons are formed in natural fires, are dispersed and mixed by air transport, and are eventually deposited into surface sediments. The analytical, geochemical, and environmental implications of these findings are discussed.

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