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International Journal of Ecology
Volume 2012, Article ID 496740, 9 pages
Research Article

Assessing Anthracene and Arsenic Contamination within Buffalo River Sediments

Department of Geography, Ryerson University, Toronto, ON, Canada M5B 2K3

Received 30 August 2011; Accepted 5 December 2011

Academic Editor: L. M. Chu

Copyright © 2012 Adrian Gawedzki and K. Wayne Forsythe. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Anthracene and arsenic contamination concentrations at various depths in the Buffalo River were analyzed in this study. Anthracene is known to cause damage to human skin and arsenic has been linked to lung and liver cancer. The Buffalo River is labelled as an Area of Concern defined by the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement between Canada and the United States. It has a long history of industrial activity located in its near vicinity that has contributed to its pollution. An ordinary kriging spatial interpolation technique was used to calculate estimates between sample locations for anthracene and arsenic at various depths. The results show that both anthracene and arsenic surface sediment (0–30 cm) is less contaminated than all subsurface depths. There is variability of pollution within the different subsurface levels (30–60 cm, 60–90 cm, 90–120 cm, 120–150 cm) and along the river course, but major clusters are identified throughout all depths for both anthracene and arsenic.