Continuity of Pollution by Petroleum Hydrocarbons in Water and Sediments of Shatt Al-Arab River, Southern Iraq, North West Arabian
Shatt Al-Arab River is naturally exposed to pollution by petroleum derivatives from different sources. levels of
petroleum hydrocarbons were reported since 1980. Those levels were fluctuated during the last four decades according to
different activities taking place in and around the area such as leaking of petroleum fuels from sinking vessels in Shatt Al-
Arab river during the first Gulf war (Iraqi - Iranian War, 1980-1988), as well as sinking of vessels used to transfer crude oil
illegally and discharge of waste fuel from electric power generation stations along the banks of the river. During the eighties
of the last century, levels of PHC's reported in Shatt Al-Arab river ranged between 2.6 μ g l−1 in Qurnah and 44 μ g l−1 in
Basrah, while they reached 56 μ g l−1 in the waters of Shatt Al-Arab estuary. During the nineties those levels were reported
maximum of 14 μ g l−1 in Shatt Al-Arab and 7 μ g l−1 in it's estuary, then during the early years of 2000s levels were 47 μ g
l−1 and 80 μg l−1 in Shatt Al-Arab river and it's estuary respectively, while during the ongoing decade levels recorded were
high in the range of 4.048-22.98 μg l−1 due to increase oil production and transportation in Northern part of Basrah province,
the same trend was appeared in the sediments and living organisms of Shatt Al-Arab river and its estuary. Those pollutants
exert great threaten to the environment of the Gulf as pollution is increase in its water, sediments and marine organisms.
Keywords - Petroleum hydrocarbons, Shatt Al-Arab River, Water, Sediments, Fluorescence.