Indications for pedogenic formation of perylene in a terrestrial soil profile : depth distribution and first results from stable carbon isotope ratios
Concentrations and isotope compositions of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) were determined in natural soils of Southern Germany. In selected profiles perylene concentrations increased with soil depth when compared to the other PAH compounds present. However, its low solubility made vertical transport by seepage water unlikely. Therefore two mechanisms are discussed that could have caused the unusual distribution of perylene in these soils:(a)Atmospheric deposition of combustion-derived (i.e. pyrogenic) perylene in the top-soil and(b)in situ generation in the sub-soil of these specific terrestrial environments. This could have been caused by microbial activities or other catalytic processes yet unknown. In order to distinguish between pyrogenic and natural generation compound-specific 13C/12C ratios (?13C) were compared between perylene and other PAHs in samples from the top-soil and sub-soil. Despite successful clean-up of the extracts, low perylene concentrations and peak overlaps with benzo(e)pyrene and benzo(a)pyrene prevented determination of a unique ?13C value for perylene in the upper horizon. However, the ?13C value of perylene in the sub-soil was 5.7 permille more negative than other equal-mass PAHs (with m/z of 252) in the top-soil, which rather supports in situ generation of perylene in the sub-soil. © 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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