Saturated hydrocarbons (SH) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) have been quantified in a sediment core obtained from Central Park Lake, New York City. Radionuclides 210Pb and 137Cs were used to assign approximate dates to each individual section in the core. Results show that the ratio U/R is sensitive to petroleum inputs and Ret/(Ret + Chy) is responsive to contributions from softwood combustion, whereas both Fl/(Fl + Py) and 1,7/(1,7 + 2,6)-DMP can be used to discriminate among wood, coal, and petroleum combustion sources. Combined use of these ratios suggests that in New York City, wood combustion dominated 100 years ago, with a shift to coal combustion occurring from the 1900s to the 1950s. Petroleum use began around the 1920s and has dominated since the 1940s.
- Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons,
- Saturated Hydrocarbons,
- Central Park Lake
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