Based on field efforts in Lake IJssel (the Netherlands) from 2000 to 2010, dynamics of 15 priority PAHs in suspended particulate matter (SPM) and in seawater were determined. This study examined time-varying changes in PAH concentration and composition, apportioned potential anthropogenic sources, and quantified their linkages to hydrological factors. The sum of individual PAHs (defined as ∑15PAHs) varied widely throughout the study period in Lake IJssel, ranging from 0.76 to 9.66 mg/kg in SPM and from 0.014 to 0.136 μg/L in seawater. High molecular weight PAHs were the most abundant PAH compounds, responsible for 73%–97%. Seasonal variation in ∑15PAHs level was distinguished, peaked in late winter and early spring, and reached a minimum in summer. Over site, the heavy contamination was found at the river mouth (e.g., Genemuiden). The driving factors of SPM and water temperature controlled the fate of PAHs. Principal component analysis and diagnostic ratios suggested that PAHs may have been derived from different input sources through various transport pathways, for example, coal combustion source and petroleum source. The findings are useful for filling the knowledge gap of PAH dynamics in Lake IJssel and Wadden Sea, which exerts significant influences on lake's environment. Practitioner points: HMW PAHs (4–6 rings) were the most abundant PAH compounds. Heavy contamination was found in the mouth of IJssel River. Time-varying change in PAHs level was significantly correlated with riverine input. PAHs sources were apportioned via principal component analysis and diagnostic ratios.
- hydrological impact
- Lake IJssel
- polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons
- source apportionment
- suspended particulate matter