Sediment samples of the Lippe river (Germany) taken between August 1999 and March 2001 were investigated by GC-MS-analyses. These analyses were performed as non-target-screening approaches in order to identify a wide range of anthropogenic organic contaminants. Unknown contaminants like 3,6-dichlorocarbazole and bis(4-octylphenyl)amine as well as anthropogenic molecular marker compounds were selected for quantification. The obtained qualitative and quantitative analytical results were interpreted in order to visualize the anthropogenic contamination of the Lippe river including spatial distribution, input effects and time dependent occurrence. Anthropogenic molecular markers derived from municipal sources like polycyclic musks, 4-oxoisophorone and methyltriclosan as well as from agricultural sources (hexachlorobenzene) were gathered. In addition molecular markers derived from effluents of three different industrial branches, e.g. halogenated organics, tetrachlorobenzyltoluenes and tetrabutyltin, were identified. While municipal and agricultural contaminations were ubiquitous and diffusive, industrial emission sources were spatially isolated. Specific seasonal trends of distribution patterns were not observed. © 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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