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In 1994, analyses of sediments and fish from Lake Ellasjøen on Bear Island revealed a surprising scenario. The analytical results indicated some of the highest values of the contaminants PCB and DDT in freshwater sediments and fish ever found in the Arctic. The 1994 results were based on limited amounts of samples. During 1996 and 1997 there were carried out new sampling and analyses of several samples. These results verify the results found in 1994. Since the POP-patterns found deviate considerably from the typical patterns expected for local contamination, no local source can be assumed to be responsible for the high POP values found. Thus, the questions that need to be addressed include the source of these contaminants, the transport pathways that deliver these contaminants to this site, total deposition and finally contaminant fate including biological uptake and effects. Previous investigations from the early 80’s on high volume air samples carried out at Bear Island revealed several long-range transport episodes from Eastern Europe. The overall objective of this project is to contribute significant new information to the understanding of contaminant pathways in the Arctic hydrosphere and to provide a better understanding of contaminant focusing in a sensitive polar environment. This will be accomplished through the development of a comprehensive mass balance study of the atmospheric loadings of PCBs and other contaminants to the Lake Ellasjøen watershed to determine the seasonal importance of atmospheric deposition on a remote polar island. Further, effort will be directed at assessing the relative importance of various source regions of contaminants to the island through an evaluation of contaminant signatures and back trajectories of pollution events.
Objectives: To determine the temporal and spatial trends and accumulation rates of heavy metals and persistent organic contamineants and to differentiate between natural and anthropogenic sources of heavy metals. Summary: Heavy metal and persistent organic contaminant concentrations and accumulation rate are measured in Pb-210 dated sediment cores of small lakes in different areas of Finnish Lapland.
Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) are persistent and lipophilic compounds used as flame retardants in electronic equipment, plastic material and synthetic fibbers among other things. The PBDEs are mainly used as Deca-BDE and Bromokal 70-5DE, a mixture of tetra-, penta- and hexa-BDE. Due to its chemical and physical properties PBDEs, especially TeBDEs, tend to bioaccumulate. PBDEs were first reported in sediments in USA, and in fish from a Swedish river. More recently PBDEs have also been reported in seals, birds, mussels, whales and humans. In this study an SFE-method for rapid analysis of PBDEs in marine mammals was developed. This method was used to determinate the concentrations of these environmental pollutants in Pilot Whale samples caught in the Faroe Islands, Beluga Whales from the Arctic and Polar Bears from Svalbard. Using this method several PBDEs were analysed in the different species. In addition methoxylated PBDEs (Me-O-PBDE) were identified by interpretation of the different mass spectra’s. Of the 209 theoretical possible congeners only a few PBDE seem to accumulate in the environment. Accumulation of PBDE is related to the different chemical properties of the molecule. With the help of multivariate characterisation of a compound class using semi-empirical molecular orbital calculations, literature data and actual experimental measurements, the behaviour of PBDE in the environment can be modelled and predicted. Such models are essential in order to gain more insight in the behaviour of PBDE in the environment.
The general objective is to assess time trends and deposition loads of mercury and persistent organic pollutants from long-range atmospheric transport in Arctic environments (Greenland and north Swedish mountains) using lake sediments. The specific aims are: 1. Mercury - Study pre-industrial and industrial temporal changes in Hg concentrations in sediment records of remote lakes in Greenland and north Swedish mountains. - Address the hypothesis of 'cold condensation' (the progressive re-volatilization in relatively warm locations and subsequent condensation and deposition in cooler environments) of mercury, using a series of lake sediment cores along climate gradients: in Greenland from the inland ice sheet towards the coast and in the Swedish mountains from high altitudes down to the boreal forest. 2. POPs - Make a screening to establish which persistent organic pollutants are present in recent lake sediments in remote sites in Greenland and the north Swedish mountains. Besides PCBs, HCH, DDT and other pesticides, there are new environmental threats such as brominated flame retardants, such as PDBEs, which are of particular interest. The increasing use of PBDE and other brominated compounds may lead to increasing concentrations in the Arctic environment. However, very little is known about the levels of PBDEs as well as other POPs in sediments from the Arctic. - Analyse test series of selected POPs using a lake sediment core to assess temporal trends and a number of surface sediment samples from different lakes to assess spatial variability in concentrations and cumulative fluxes of POPs in Greenland and Swedish mountain lakes. - The main purpose of this pilot study of POPs is to determine the concentrations of selected POPs in sediments from Greenland and the northern Swedish mountains and to assess how useful lake sediments are for studying temporal and spatial pollution loads of POPs in Arctic environments.
The major aim in AMAP is to monitor the levels of anthropogenic contaminants in all major compartments of the Arctic environment, and assess the environmental conditions in the area. This core programme will provide the Danish/Greenlandic authorities with data which make it possible to take part in the international AMAP programme under the Arctic Council. In order to monitor the levels of anthropogenic pollutants, samples will be collected and analysed. The measured components will include heavy metals and persistent organic pollutants in order to allow for spatial and temporal trends in Arctic biota. The program has taken in consideration the recommended importance of persistent organic pollutants and mercury and the importance of the marine food chain. The core program focuses on areas with high population density or areas with high levels of pollutants in the environment.
1. Continue to investigate spatial and temporal patterns in mercury concentrations in fish in lakes in the Mackenzie River Basin with a focus on predatory fish in smaller lakes near Fort Simpson but also including Great Bear Lake 2. Assess temporal trends in mercury concentrations and influencing factors, e.g., climate change 3. Conduct sediment core studies as opportunities allow to characterize long-term trends in mercury deposition and productivity 4. Integrate the findings of this study with our mercury trend monitoring in Great Slave Lake and the western provinces.
1. To determine the depth profiles of mercury (Hg) and lead (Pb) as well as manganese (Mn) and iron (Fe) in fifteen dated Arctic sediment cores over a three year period. Mercury is the main focus. 2. To quantify geographical trends in fluxes of the mercury and its enrichment factors in Nunavut, NWT, Nunavik, and Labrador. To link mercury findings with those of paleolimnological indicators, POPs, as well as indicators of biogeochemical processes of manganese and iron, all of which are obtained from the same cores, or cores from the same sites whenever possible. 3. To complement existing data on mercury in Arctic sediment cores with data generated over a much wider latitudinal and longitudinal range than previous work in order to provide a better understanding of Hg in Canada North. 4. Secondary to Hg, to provide loading data for Pb which may help elucidate the understanding of Hg pathways and sources.