Depositional history of organic contaminants in Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island, USA

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Sediment cores were taken at three locations in Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island, USA in 1997 and analyzed for a variety of organic contaminants including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), chlordanes, linear alkyl benzenes (LABs), benzotriazoles (BZTs) and dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethanes (DDTs) and metabolites. The distributions of these chemicals at Apponaug Cove and in the Seekonk River indicate that there was a disturbance in the depositional environment relative to cores collected at these locations in 1986 demonstrating the potential for buried contaminants to be remobilized in the environment even after a period of burial. Sharp breaks in the concentration of several organic markers with known dates of introduction were successfully used to determine the sedimentation rate at Quonset Point. Both the Quonset Point and Seekonk River cores had subsurface maximums for DDTs, PCBs, PAHs and BZTs, which are consistent with expected inputs to the environment. The Apponaug Cove core showed an increase of most contaminants at the surface indicating a recent event in which more contaminated sediments were deposited at that location. © 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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Marine Pollution Bulletin