The AMAP Marine Thematic Data Centre holds marine contaminants data for monitoring and assessment. The database is hosted by the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES), Copenhagen, Denmark, and are accessible through their online EcoSystemData warehouse.
AMAP Thematic Data Centres compile data from relevant monitoring and research activities and make them available under strict conditions that protect the rights of data originators. AMAP TDCs are located at established centres with appropriate expertise and facilities for conducting the types of international data handling required. For more information, please visit the main AMAP website.
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Surface samples collected around Svalbard in 1997 have been analysed for total content of heavy metals, Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs), Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) and a selection of pesticides. Sample localities have been selected to include areas not covered by previous investigations. Based on the data set and results from previous expeditions in the area, contamination levels as well as potential sources for the pollutants are discussed. The PAH levels for most stations are moderately elevated with a high contribution of aromatic hydrocarbons associated with petrogenic sources. Hence the dominant sources for the PAHs is most likely derived from petroleum seepage and or coal mining. Long-range transport of aromatics associated with anthropogenic input is a minor component of the observed PAH levels. The highest concentration of PAH is found in Storfjorden with a value higher than the elevated concentrations earlier reported from the south-eastern Storfjorden and over the Central Bank. The concentration levels of the metals arsenic, lead, chromium and nickel were moderately elevated. Because of sparse information on the natural geomorphology, background metal concentrations are not known for this area. Hence, no quantitative comparison of natural and anthropogenic inputs for metals can be made. However, the most dominant source is assumed to be natural and related to the geological conditions in the area. All PCB levels were low, suggesting a dominant influence of long-range transport of these compounds to the area. Pesticide data showed low contamination of all compounds and suggests a predominant long-range atmospheric source for these pollutants.
Levels of selected contaminants have been determined in sediment, blue mussel, seeweed and fish from harbour areas in Harstad, Tromsø, Hammerfest and Honningsvåg in northern Norway. The following contaminants were included in the study: PAH, PCB, 5CB, HCB, OCS, HCH, DDT, DDE, DDD, TBT, Cd, Cu, Hg, Pb, Zn and Li. A few samples were also analysed for dioxines (PCDD and PCDF), non-ortho PCBs and PCN. The results were compared with the Norwegian State Pollution Control Authorities classification system for marine sediments (Molvær et al. 1997). Elevated (and in most cases very high) levels of most of the measured contaminants were found in all the investigated harbour areas.
The aim of the project is to detrmine the content of organic contaminants in sea ice (including dirty ice), sea water (particulate and dissolved), snow, ice algae and phytoplankton collected in the marginal ice zone of the Barents Sea and in Fram Strait, and to calculate bioconcentration factors from the abiotic compartments to the lowest trophic levels of the food chain. Silicate measurements were included in the Fram Strait as water mass tracer. The Barents Sea represents an area influence mainly by first year ice with sea ice formed in the area and or in the Kara Sea, and and strongly influenced by the inflowing two branches of water of Atlantic origin. Samples were collected on a transect along the ice edge and at two transects into the ice. The stations across the Fram Strait were taken in regions affected by water masses and sea ice from differents regions and age. In the western sector, the upper water column was influenced by the inflowing west Spitsbergen current of Atlantic origin and mainly with first-second year ice, while the easter station was influenced by outflowing water from the Arctic Ocean and multiyear sea ice of more eastern origin.
The project aims to carry out an environmental assessment of the marine environment close to the three main settlements in the Isfjorden complex; Barentsburg, Longyearbyen and Pyramiden. The study comprises analyses of sediment geochemistry and soft-bottom benthic fauna. Attention is given to distinguishing atmospheric transport of contaminants from those arising from local sources.
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.
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.
Humans in Greenland are exposed to higher intakes of some contaminants from the diet than in most of Europe and North America. The objective of the study is to screen the most important local diet items in West Greenland for cadmium, mercury, selenium and organochlorine contaminants. Mammals, birds, fish and invertebrates, mainly marine species are being analysed.
The aim of the project is to develop a method for analysis of toxaphene in biota from the marine environment. The project includes a modification/improvement of the method of the chemical analysis of PCBs and cholrinated pesticides used at the Danish Environmental Research Institute.
The aim of this project is to conduct quality assurance on the data of organic contaminants obtained in the Greenland / Faroe Islands / Denmark part of the AMAP projects.
The project is meant to cover specific parts of AMAP phase II in the Faroe Islands. The project includes species from the marine and freshwater environment as well as biota from the terrestrial subprogram. The species chosen for the project are to be analysed for the environmental toxins that were termed essential in the guidelines of the circumpolar programme, but minor adjustments may occur. The selection of species to be analysed have been made so as so to elucidate the burden of contaminants in the local and often also traditional food, and at the same time it has been important to ensure comparability between countries in the AMAP area. The biota chosen are pilot whale, black guillemot, hare, sheep and lamb, arctic char and sculpin. In addition to this core program where the above-mentioned are analysed for the limited set of pollutants, certain special tasks have been planned. Examples on such special tasks are the analysis of mercury in sediment core profiles and investigation of the dioxin and POP burden in cows milk.
Objectives: 1. Locate and assemble scientific data from the U.S. Arctic on the concentrations and effects of POPs in all compartments (e.g., marine and terrestrial biota, abiotic substrates) of the Arctic. 2. Evaluate, analyze and summarize these scientific data from the U.S. Arctic into text suitable for inclusion in a new (second) AMAP publication on POPs. 3. Disseminate the summarized information via a U.S. AMAP Internet page that is directly linked to the current International AMAP Internet page. Summary (Abstract): The Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP) was established in 1991 and given the responsibility of monitoring the concentrations and assessing the effects of selected anthropogenic pollutants in all compartments of the Arctic. The first AMAP assessment report, published in 1998, points out gaps in our current understanding of contaminant inputs, their transport processes and food web interactions. In addition, the AMAP report noted a serious lack of information about persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in the U.S. and Russian Arctic. Thus, the recommendations of the first AMAP report were to: monitor spatial distribution, contaminant levels and biological effects of POPs; improve the understanding of the adverse effects of POPs on human populations; and fill existing data gaps, specifically in the U.S. and Russia. In this work, we plan to identify sources of scientific information (e.g., published reports, datasets) on POPs in the U.S. Arctic and obtain these data for AMAP. Once data sources are identified, a small group of scientific experts will be assembled for a workshop to determine if any pertinent sources have been overlooked and to give advice on how best to evaluate, analyze, summarize and disseminate the information obtained. A working database will be designed so that the data and scientifically important findings or conclusions from each study can be organized and evaluated. Data will be analyzed statistically, as appropriate, to determine spatial and temporal trends. The data and scientific findings that have been collected and analyzed will then be summarized into text, for inclusion in the next AMAP publication on POPs. This major effort of synthesizing the existing data from the U.S. Arctic will ensure that the AMAP report adequately presents the accomplishments of U.S. scientists and research programs. The written publication and the summarized U.S. POPs data will also be presented as a U.S. AMAP Internet page linked to the International AMAP Internet page.