Contaminants in Polar Regions – Dynamic Range of Contaminants in Polar Marine Ecosystems (COPOL)

Updated 2008-09-01

The IPY-project ‘COPOL’ has a main objective of understanding the dynamic range of man-made contaminants in marine ecosystems of polar regions, in order to better predict how possible future climate change will be reflected in levels and effects at higher trophic levels. This aim will be addressed by 4 integrated work packages covering the scopes of 1) food web contaminant exposure and flux, 2) transfer to higher trophic levels and potential effects, 3) chemical analyses and screening, 4) synthesis and integration. To study the relations between climate and environmental contaminants within a project period of four years, a “location-substitutes-time”-approach will be employed. The sampling is focussed towards specific areas in the Arctic, representing different climatic conditions. Two areas that are influenced differently by different water masses are chosen; the Kongsfjord on the West-coast of Spitzbergen (79N, 12 E) and the Rijpfjord North-East of Svalbard (80N, 22 E). The main effort is concentrated in the Kongsfjord. This fjord has been identified as particularly suitable as a study site of contaminants processes, due to the remoteness of sources, and for influences of climatic changes, due to the documented relation between Atlantic water influx and the climatic index North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO). The water masses of the Rijpfjord have Arctic origin and serves as a strictly Arctic reference. Variable Atlantic water influx will not only influence abiotic contaminant exposure, but also food web structure, food quality and energy pathways, as different water masses carry different phyto- and zooplankton assemblages. This may affect the flux of contaminants through the food web to high trophic level predators such as seabirds and seals, due to altered food quality and energy pathways.

This is not a National Implementation Plan (NIP) project

Time frame

Project time span
2007 -
Data collection
2007 - 2007
Data processing
not specified
Data reporting
not specified

Contact information

Contact person
Anders Ruus
Norwegian Institute for Water Research (NIVA) Gaustadalléen 21 N-0349 Oslo Norway
+47 22 18 51 00
+47 22 18 52 00
Other project contacts
Katrine Borgå (NIVA)

Parameters and Media

Parameter groups measured/observed/modelled
Biological effects
Climate change effects
Heavy metals
Other metals/elements
Persistent organic pollutants (POPs)
Media sampled/studied/modelled
Marine benthos
Marine fish
Marine sediments
Plankton (zooplankton)
Seawater/suspended particulate matter


Regions studied
Marine TDC
Marine TDC
Other areas
Ny-Ålesund, Rijpfjorden
Stations or areas where observations are made

Kb3 - 78°96'N 11°94'E V10/COPOL 1 - 78°94'N 8°54'E / 78°57,3'N 9°34,8'E Ny-Ålesund - 78°56,15'N 11°55,05'E Rijbfjorden - 80°16,2'N 22°20,4'E

Data availability

Are data archived or planned to be archived at an AMAP Thematic Data Centre?
Data centres
Marine TDC
Samples/specimens archived in specimen banks?

Methods & Procedures

Not specified

Additional Information

Is this a bi- AND multi-lateral project (i.e. a project involving cooperation between different countries)?
Other institutes involved in the project

Norwegian Polar Institute, the Norwegian Institute for Water Research (NIVA) Akvaplan-niva Norwegian Institute for Air Research (NILU) Norwegian Institute for Nature Research (NINA) Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)

Is this project reporting to other organizations/programmes?

International Polar Year (IPY)

Other related projects


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