UBC Faculty Research and Publications

The Environmental Significance of Sediment Surface Area as a Controlling Factor in the Preservation of Polychlorinated Dibenzo-P-Dioxins and Dibenzofurans (PCDD/PCDF) in Sediments Adjacent to Woodfibre Pulp Mill, Howe Sound, British Columbia Chalmers, Gareth; Adams, Rupert; Bustin, Amanda; Bustin, R. M.


A sediment core was retrieved from an area adjacent to a Pulp and Paper Mill in Howe Sound, British Columbia, in order to examine the accumulation dioxins (PCDDs) and furans (PCDFs). Downcore distribution of TOC in the bulk samples is relatively uniform (0.5–1.7 wt. %). Bulk PCDD/F concentration shows selective enrichment and depletion at specific sediment horizons, and a low to moderate correlation with surface area (r² = 0.23–0.54). TOC in size fractionated sediments ranges from 0.3–11 wt. % and shows a moderate correlation with surface area (r² = 0.51). The relationship between PCDD/Fs and surface area is congener specific, ranging from no significant correlation (TCDD; r² = 0.05), to a good correlation (i.e., OCDF; r² = 0.74). Results indicate that both dioxin and furan concentrations are related to organic matter concentration, molecular chlorination and sediment surface area.

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