Reassessing Atmospheric Deposition Rates of Polycyclic Aromatic Compounds to the Athabasca River (Alberta, Canada) Watershed from Oil Sands Related Activities

Authors: Sierra Rayne

In an earlier study (Kelly et al., PNAS, 2009, 106, 22346-22351), spatial patterns for the concentrations of particulate matter, particulate polycyclic aromatic compounds (PAC), and dissolved PAC in the snowpack around the Syncrude and Suncor upgrader facilities near the oil sands development at Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada were determined. A reassessment of the datasets employed in this work yields significantly different deposition rates (by up to an order of magnitude) than reported, as well as reveals substantial sensitivity in deposition rate estimates depending on a range of equally valid regression types chosen. A high degree of uncertainty remains with regard to the quantities of particulate matter and PAC being deposited in the Athabasca River watershed from oil sands related activities.

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[v1] 2012-12-16 14:44:57

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