Watershed-scale modeling on the fate and transport of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs).
- Citation data:
Journal of hazardous materials, ISSN: 1873-3336, Vol: 320, Page: 442-457
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- Environmental Science; PAHs; Soil and water assessment tool; Multimedia model; Watershed-scaling model
PAHs are potentially carcinogenic substances that are persistent in the environment. Increasing concentrations of PAHs were observed due to rapid urbanization, thus; monitoring PAHs concentrations is necessary. However, it is expensive to conduct intensive monitoring activities of a large number of PAHs. This study addressed this issue by developing a multimedia model coupled with a hydrological model (i.e., Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT)) for Taehwa River (TR) watershed in Ulsan, the industrial capital of South Korea. The hydrologic module of the SWAT was calibrated, and further used to simulate the fate and transport of PAHs in soil and waterbody. The model demonstrated that the temporal or seasonal variation of PAHs in soil and waterbody can be well reproduced. Meanwhile, the spatial distribution of PAHs showed that urban areas in TR watershed have the highest PAH loadings compared to rural areas. Sensitivity analyses of the PAH soil and PAH water parameters were also able to determine the critical processes in TR watershed: degradation, deposition, volatilization, and wash off mechanism. We hope that this model will be able to aid the stakeholders in: regulating PAH concentrations emitted by various sources; and also apply the model to other Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs).