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    The biogeochemical processes of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in the South China Sea (SCS) are influenced by the exchanges of water masses, energies, and materials between this marginal sea and the Pacific Ocean. To investigate the impact of oceanic water intrusion on semivolatile compounds, we collected seawater samples in the Western Pacific, northern, and central SCS in 2017 and analyzed for dissolved PAHs. PAH concentrations in the water columns of the Pacific Ocean and SCS were 1.7-11 and 1.1-7.3 ng L-1, respectively, showing spatial distinctions in terms of the composition and source characteristics. A common depletion for three-ring PAHs was found in the northern SCS by comparing the modeling results of conservative mixing by Kuroshio intrusion. Kuroshio water increased the levels of temperature, dissolved oxygen, and nutrients when intruding into the northern SCS and was likely to enhance the bioavailability of PAHs and stimulate their biodegradation process. In the water column, the most effective layer under the Kuroshio intrusion impact is different for three- and four-ring PAHs, where the three-ring PAHs' depletion was most significant at the surface; however, for four-ring PAHs, that was at the deep chlorophyll maximum layer. This study highlighted the effect of ocean currents on PAHs for their water-column processes both from physical and biogeochemical perspectives.

    Citation

    Mengyang Liu, Haowen Zheng, Weimin Wang, Hongwei Ke, Peng Huang, Siguang Liu, Fajin Chen, Yan Lin, Minggang Cai. Enhanced Sinks of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons Due to Kuroshio Intrusion: Implications on Biogeochemical Processes in the Ocean-Dominated Marginal Seas. Environmental science & technology. 2021 May 18;55(10):6838-6847

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    PMID: 33944554

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