What is it about?

Snow cover is one of the most interesting objects for the geochemical studies as a season accumulated environmental media. The paper investigates the interrelation of pollution character and transport activity mode. The models of PAHs distribution from the main transport "arteria" are snow etc.) show the specificity of migration and accumulation of PAHs, which may be due to the phase-structural transitions in the "snow-water" system, occurring during thaws and cold spells, and the specificity of pyrogenic pollution.

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Why is it important?

The pyrogenic genesis of pollution was confirmed using indicator ratios of PAH isomers. This method can demonstrate significant errors; therefore, the study investigates the informative value of the indicators. Implementation of a complex of ratios confirmed pyrogenic pollution. Due to the complexity and originality of the local conditions of scattered pollution the profiles of the prevalence of PAHs in the snow cover of the campus practically do not correspond to theoretical models. In addition to the importance of studying PAHs as indicators of anthropogenic stress, the relevance of the study is also associated with the almost complete or selective transition of PAHs accumulated over the season in the snow, into the soil, and then into the plants. Extremely high concentrations can gradually lead to the degradation of vegetation cover. In addition, PAHs were considered as one of the indicators of the total anthropogenic load: the study confirmed that the transport load (and not long-range transport from elsewhere) is the main source of PAH in the snow. In fact, an analysis of the distribution of PAHs allowed us to obtain a model for the formation of the total anthropogenic load on the studied local area.


The article is a first experience of explaining the local distribution of the persistent pollutants from the linear sources under the meteorological conditions of Moscow city. Such a representation reflects the local specifics of the pollution of snow cover. The main difference to other studies on similar issues consists first of all in the composition of the PAH complex in the snow. In accordance with some previous studies, there is detected practically total absence of the lightest PAHs in the snow near to the roads. In addition, the role of a forest part of the campus area as a peculiar "bulwark" is justified.

Professor Aleksandr Khaustov
Peoples' Friendship University of Russia

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This page is a summary of: Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons in the Snow Cover of Moscow (Case Study of the RUDN University Campus), Polycyclic Aromatic Compounds, July 2019, Taylor & Francis, DOI: 10.1080/10406638.2019.1645707.
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