Characterization of hydrocarbons found in the arctic aquatic environment near the Ekati diamond mine

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Issue Date
2014-11-04
Authors
Nabess, Stephanie Ann
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Subject
aquatic
arctic
PAH
passive sampler
Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons
SPMD
Abstract
Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in the aquatic environment of the Ekati Diamond Mine were evaluated in snow, sediment, air and water (via passive membrane samplers). Five stream sites within the receiving environment, the tailings cells, a seep, three haul roads, two incinerators and a power station were sampled. Evaluation of PAH profiles, ratios and principal components analysis was used to assess similarities between sites and assign potential sources to receiving environment site samples. Low PAH concentrations were found at stream sites with some potential for toxic effects due to the greater presence of alkylated PAHs in all samples. Stream sites both influenced and uninfluenced by the water discharged from the tailings cells showed similar PAH profiles. Source linkages to the tailings treatment facility, haul roads and a seepage site were probable, all of which are influenced by the use of petroleum based products such as dust suppressants, and machine oils.
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