Date of Award

Spring 1982

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Ocean/Earth/Atmos Sciences



Committee Director

Terry L. Wade

Committee Member

Robert C. Harriss

Committee Member

Frank E. Scully, Jr.


Hydrocarbon concentrations were determined in bulk, wet, and dry deposition samples from urban and non-urban locations surrounding lower Chesapeake Bay. Mean hydrocarbon concentrations in bulk deposition samples were over three times greater at the urban station indicating a localized source. The major hydrocarbons present were n-alkanes, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), and the unresolved complex mixture (UCM). The PAH and the UCM were an indication of significant anthropogenic inputs while the odd/even distribution of the n-alkanes was an indication of biogenic sources. These findings indicated seasonal trends of highest biogenic hydrocarbon inputs in the spring and summer months and highest anthropogenic inputs in the winter months.

The similarity of the hydrocarbons in bulk and dry deposition, the small concentration of hydrocarbons in wet deposition, the large percentage of hydrocarbons associated with particulates, the small washout ratio and the larger size particulates in bulk deposition samples all indicated that dry deposition is the major mechanism for the removal of non-volatile/ high molecular weight atmospheric hydrocarbons.

The atmospheric input of anthropogenic hydrocarbons to Chesapeake Bay through atmospheric deposition was determined to be at least 125 metric tons annually. Therefore, aerial input may be a significant source of hydrocarbon pollution to the Bay. Reproduced