Document Type


Date of Original Version



Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and polybrominated diphenylethers (PBDEs) are both currently released into the environment from anthropogenic activity. Both are hence primarily associated with populated or industrial areas, although wildfires can be an important source of PAHs, too. Polyethylene passive samplers (PEs) were simultaneously deployed in surface water and near surface atmosphere to determine spatial trends and air-water gaseous exchange of 22 PAHs and 11 PBDEs at 19 sites across Lake Superior in 2011. Surface water and atmospheric PAH concentrations were greatest at urban sites (up to 65 ng L-1 and 140 ng m-3, respectively, averaged from June to October). Near populated regions, PAHs displayed net air-to-water deposition, but were near equilibrium off-shore. Retene, probably depositing following major wildfires in the region, dominated dissolved PAH concentrations at most Lake Superior sites. Atmospheric and dissolved PBDEs were greatest near urban and populated sites (up to 6.8 pg L-1 and 15 pg m-3, respectively, averaged from June to October), dominated by BDE-47. At most coastal sites, there was net gaseous deposition of BDE-47, with less brominated congeners contributing to Sault Ste. Marie and eastern open lake fluxes. Conversely, the central open lake and Eagle Harbor sites generally displayed volatilization of PBDEs into the atmosphere, mainly BDE-47.