Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in an anoxic sediment core from the Pettaquamscutt River (Rhode Island, U.S.A.)
Fifteen sections from an anoxic sediment core were analyzed for polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH). Two types of PAH were observed: (a) those from combustion sources such as pyrene and chrysene and (b) those from natural sources such as retene and perylene. The combustion PAH levels in core sections dated between 1900 and 1970 were much higher than in earlier sections; this indicated an anthropogenic origin of these PAH at this location. The perylene and retene core profiles show significant anomalies during the period 1850-1880. Organic carbon does not fluctuate markedly but δC-13 of organic carbon shows several unexplained excursions; one of which correlates with the perylene and retene anomalies.