Monitoring and Modelling of Atmospheric Pollution in Greenland

Updated 2000-06-14

In 2000 it is proposed to operate an atmospheric programme consisting of a monitoring and a modelling part and composed of 3 programme modules. The monitoring programme consists of two parts. I. It is proposed to continue the weekly measurements of acidifying components and heavy metals at Station Nord in north-east Greenland for assessment of atmospheric levels and trends. The measuring programme includes also highly time resolved measurements of Ozone and of total gaseous Mercury (TGM). The results will also be used for continued development and verification of the transport model calculations. Receptor modelling of the pollution composition will be used for identification and quantification of the source types that influence the atmospheric pollution in north-east Greenland. Comparison of the two sets of modelling results is expected to give better models. II. The purpose of the project is the operation of a permanent air monitoring programme in the populated West Greenland at a location which is representative for transboundary air pollution. The most promising sites are located in the Disko Bay area and in the vicinity of Nuuk. The objectives are to obtain data on the concentration levels of air pollutants that can be used for assessing seasonal variations and trends and for studying long range transport of pollutants mainly from North America to West Greenland. The purpose is further to provide data for development and improvement of long range transport models that can be used to identify the origin of the pollution and its transport pathways. The results from measurements and model calculations will be used to assess the magnitude of deposition to sea and land in this populated region of Greenland. III. In the proposed modelling programme the operation, application and maintenance of the current basic hemispheric model will be continued. Results on origin, transport, and deposition of contaminants on land and sea surfaces in the Arctic are essential for interpretation and understanding the Arctic air pollution. The model will be developed to improve the spatial and temporal resolutions, as well as the accuracy by including physically and mathematically better descriptions of the key processes treated in the model. The work to expand the model to include also non-volatile heavy metals, such as Cadmium and Lead on an hemispheric scale will be continued. Since the atmospheric chemistry of Ozone and Mercury seem to be strongly connected in the Arctic it is planned to continue the development and testing of a model module for hemispheric transport and chemistry for ozone and mercury to assess the origin and fate of this highly toxic metal in the Arctic.

This is a National Implementation Plan (NIP) project

Time frame

Project time span
1997 -
Data collection
1997 -
Data processing
1997 -
Data reporting
1997 -

Contact information

Contact person
Niels Z. Heidam
Danmarks Miljøundersøgelser - DMU (National Environmental Research Institute - NERI) ATMI - Dept of Atmospheric Environment Frederiksborgvej 399 Post Box 358 DK-4000 Roskilde Denmark
+45 4630 1108
+45 4630 1214
Other project contacts
Jesper Christensen, ATMI Henrik Skov, ATMI Peter Wåhlin, ATMI

Parameters and Media

Parameter groups measured/observed/modelled
Acidification parameters
Heavy metals
Other metals/elements
Media sampled/studied/modelled
Additional information or further specification of types of data / information collected, species / tissues / organs sampled, etc.

Activities Filter samples will be collected continuously on a weekly basis at Station Nord and returned to DMU-ATMI for analysis. Analysis is performed according to documented and accredited methods, and the results are subjected to quality control before they are stored in the database. In addition highly time-resolved measurements of ozone and total gaseous mercury (TGM) will be performed continuously. These two species are believed to interact in a manner that may lead to enhanced deposition of Mercury. The purpose of this project is to apply the hemispheric transport model (Danish Eulerian Hemispheric Model, DEHM) and use the calculation results in conjunction with those obtained in the experimental parts of the project. An additional purpose is to improve and develop DEHM further. The purpose of the development part is to expand the model with modules for handling other important pollutants. First among these will be the non-volatile heavy metals such as Cu, Zn, Cd and Pb which are attached to aerosol particles. As a second step model modules for handling the rather more complex behaviour of the volatile and toxic heavy metal of mercury will be developed and attached to the model. The atmospheric chemistry of mercury seems under certain circumstances to be closely linked to that of ozone and the inclusion of this coupling in the model is also a goal for the model project.


Regions studied
Faeroe Islands
Greenland Sea
Stations or areas where observations are made

Station Nord, NE Greenland 81 30'N, 16 40'W

Data availability

Are data archived or planned to be archived at an AMAP Thematic Data Centre?
Data centres
Atmospheric TDC
References to key publications (or planned publications) and data reports
Heidam et al.(1999) Troposheric Gases and Aerosols in northeast Greenland. J. Atm Sci. 56, 261-278 Christensen (1997) The Danish Eulerian Hemisspheric Model - A Three Dimensional Air Pollution Model Used for the Arctic. Atm. Environ. 31, 4169-4191
Samples/specimens archived in specimen banks?

Methods & Procedures

QA/QC Information (what QA/QC procedures are implemented, laboratories involvment in QA/QC activities, model verification/validation routines, etc.)

The Department has obtained Accreditation for sampling and anlysing atmospheric contaminants based i.a. on well documented QA/QC procedures, that generally follow EMEP QA/QC procedures.

Additional Information

Is this a bi- AND multi-lateral project (i.e. a project involving cooperation between different countries)?
Other related projects

Atmospheric AMAP programmes in Canada and Norway AMAP projects by other departments in DMU/neri

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