Accumulation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) was determined in blue mussels (Mytilus spp.) and shore crabs (Hemigrapsus sp.) at a recently closed military fuel depot in central San Francisco Bay, California. In April 1996, during a period of above average precipitation, specimens were collected at the depot, near the depot, and at sites 10 and 20 km south of the depot. Four weeks after the rains ended, blue mussels were again collected at the depot, and at two additional sites in the central Bay region. In April, total PAHs in mussels from the depot were significantly higher only than that in mussels collected 20 km from the depot; however, seven specific, substituted PAHs were higher at the depot than at all other sites. In June, only two of the 38 PAHs common in mussels in April were detected at the depot; these concentrations were comparable to ambient concentrations in mussels at the Bay. It seemed that bioavailability of PAHs at the depot was enhanced by rainfall, probably due to the mobilization of PAHs via groundwater into the Bay. Concentrations in mussels from chronically contaminated sites were about five times higher than mussels collected from the depot. Low PAH concentrations were detected in shore crabs near the depot, and the highest levels were not associated with the depot. Observed PAH concentrations are discussed in relation to upper trophic organisms.
Additional publication details
Enhancement of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in estuarine invertebrates by surface runoff at a decommissioned military fuel depot