Previous studies (Akvaplan-niva 1994 and 1996) on levels of POPs in limnic systems on Bear Island have shown that sediment and fish from a lake on the southern part of the island (Ellasjøen) have some of the highest levels of PCB and DDT that has been reported from Arctic areas. In a lake situated in the more central part of the island (Øyangen) levels are much lower, and in the same range as reported for lakes in Northern Norway and the Canadian Arctic. No local sources for contamination exist on Bear Island, and it is therefore likely that the contaminants are brought to the island with long-range atmospheric transport. The difference between the two investigated lakes on Bear Island may be due to differences in deposition of precipitation. This theory is currently being investigated through another project called: “Ellasjøen, Bear Island - A mass balance study of a high contaminated Arctic area." Another possible sources for contaminants to Ellasjøen can be the large colonies of seabirds that are situated close to the lake or use the lake for bathing. These seabirds may accumulate contaminants through their marine food chains and deposit guano in Ellasjøen and surrounding areas. Øyangen is much less influenced by seabirds than Ellasjøen. The aim of the present project is to map levels of selected persistent organic pollutants and study their biomagnification in freshwater and marine food chains at/near Bear Island. By linking the results from freshwater and marine food chains we aim to elucidate whether trophodynamics and interaction between marine and terrestrial food chains can be a natural mechanisms for biomagnification of POPs in specific geographic areas.
Methods follow national/international standards and guidelines where such exist. If guidelines do not exist sampling, sample treatment, analyses and storage are carried out according to procedures that are comparable to those described in national/international standards for other media/species. Laboratories involved: Norwegian Institute for Air Research (NILU) - POPs in biota University of Stockholm, Institute for Applied Environmental Research - POPs in water and phytoplankton, stabile isotopes
NILU is accredited for analyses of "conventional POPs" according to EN 45001. Analyses that are not accredited follow the same procedures as the accredited analyses. NILU also participates in international interlaboratory exercises (i.e.QUASIMEME)
Norwegian Polar Institute Norwegian Institute for Air Research University og Tromsø University of Stockholm, Institute for Applied Environmental Research
"Ellasjøen, Bear Island: A mass balance study of a highly contaminated Arctic lake"