Aliphatic and Aromatic Biomarkers for Petroleum Hydrocarbon Investigation in Marine Sediment

Ines Zrafi, Leila Hizem;Houssem Chalghmi;Ahmed Ghrabi;Mahmoud Rouabhia;Dalila Saidane-Mosbahi;


Levels, composition profiles and sources of hydrocarbons were analyzed in surface marine sediment samples collected from Khniss Coast in Tunisia. It was found that the total Hydrocarbon (TH) concentrations ranged from 2280 µg/g to 7700 µg/g. The sedimentary non-aromatic hydrocarbon (NAH) and aromatic hydrocarbon (AH) concentrations ranged from 1020 to 2320 µg/g, and from 240 to 680 µg/g, respectively. The level of 17 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (∑17PAHs) is equal to 14.59 ng/g. The PAH profiles showed that the ∑4–5-ring compounds were the major PAHs detected in the sampling sites. Characteristic ratios of Anth/(Anth+ Phe), and Flu/(Flu + Pyr) indicated that PAHs could originate from petrogenic and pyrolytic sources. Petroleum contamination associated with increased marine activity and high eutrophization statue in Khniss area which may have side-effects on the ecosystems and human safety; thus, it must be controlled.


Marine Sediments; Petroleum Pollution; Aliphatics; Aromatics; PAH; Biomarkers

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