Résumé: One year time series of sinking particles were collected at two depths in the open Mediterranean Sea and analysed for polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH). Average total PAH concentrations were 593 ± 284 ng g -1 at 250 m and 551 ± 198 ng g -1 at 2850 m. Total PAH fluxes averaged 73 ± 58 ng m -2 d -1 at 250 m and 53 ± 39 ng m -2 d -1 at 2850 m. Contamination levels and, thus, exposure of marine organisms to PAH are comparable in surface and deep waters. Deep waters appear as a significant, yet overlooked, PAH sink. PAH temporal patterns show noticeable seasonality. This is partly due to varying levels of specific components such as the winter increase of pyrolytic PAH. Downward transport processes and the nature of sinking particles also impact on PAH fluxes, as inferred during periods of increasing productivity. Different phase-associations and interactions with particulate organic carbon for low-MW fossil PAH and high-MW pyrolytic PAH influence their downward transport efficiency. © 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.