Baseline values of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons and Trace Metals in the Yukon River, Alaska

Tuesday, 16 December 2014
John Perreault and Paul McCarthy, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, AK, United States
The Yukon River drains an area of more than 800 km2 across Canada and Alaska. Sediments are deposited along the western coast of Alaska in the Bering and Chukchi Seas, and represent most of the sediment deposited in the Chukchi Sea. Suspended sediments, bed load sediments, and historical cores were collected from the last non-marine influenced stretch of the Yukon River and analyzed for the presence and quantity of trace metals, organic carbon, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH). C14 dates from cores sampled from the delta region and intra-annual active river sampling from 2012-2013, show an annual flux of these materials within the context of a historical comparison. Grain size distributions of tested contaminants suggest contributions to the Chukchi Sea sediment budget.