Environmental assessment of the Isfjorden complex, Svalbard

Updated 2000-10-23

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.

This is not a National Implementation Plan (NIP) project

Time frame

Project time span
1998 - 2001
Data collection
1998 - 2000
Data processing
1999 - 2000
Data reporting
2001 - 2001

Contact information

Contact person
Sabine J. Cochrane
Akvaplan-niva Polar Environmental Centre 9296 Tromsø Norway
+47 777 50300/ 50327 (dir)
+47 777 50301
Other project contacts
Salve Dahle Akvaplan-niva Polar Environmental Centre 9296 Tromsø Norway

Parameters and Media

Parameter groups measured/observed/modelled
Biological effects
Heavy metals
Persistent organic pollutants (POPs)
Petroleum hydrocarbons
Media sampled/studied/modelled
Marine benthos
Marine sediments


Regions studied
Radioactivity TDC
Stations or areas where observations are made

St. no. Location Depth (m) Latitude N Longitude E 1 Forlandsundet 242 78o24.50’ 12o07.40’ 2 Isfjord 429 78o09.50’ 13o49.40’ 3 Isfjord 282 78o19.60’ 15o19.20’ 4 Billefjord 160 78o35.85’ 16o30.80’ 5 Grønfjord 146 78o04.10’ 14o09.20’ 6 Grønfjord 95 78o05.70’ 14o08.40’ 7 Grønfjord 110 78o03.90’ 14o11.45’ 8 Grønfjord 112 78o02.70’ 14o11.65’ 9 Billefjord 34 78o02.70’ 14o11.65’ 10 Billefjord 23 78o39.10’ 16o24.70’ 11 Billefjord 35 78o39.20’ 16o26.75’ 12 Sassenfjord 201 78o24.50’ 15o56.40’ 13 Adventfjord 39 78o13.70’ 15o40.20’ 14 Adventfjord 62 78o14.00’ 15o36.80’ 15 Adventfjord 57 78o14.50’ 15o33.50’ 16 Adventfjord 77 78o15.40’ 15o35.50’

Data availability

Are data archived or planned to be archived at an AMAP Thematic Data Centre?
Data centres
Marine TDC
Radioactivity TDC
References to key publications (or planned publications) and data reports
Cochrane, S.J. & K. Næs 1999. An environmental assessment of the Isfjorden Complex. First technical report. - Akvaplan-niva report APN-414.98.1466-1 Scientific publications are planned, no titles as yet. One masters thesis (R. Johansen, University of Tromsø) is in progress, using biological data from the project.
Samples/specimens archived in specimen banks?

Methods & Procedures

Procedures and methodology used for, e.g., sampling and sample storage, sample pretreatment, extraction and analysis, including which laboratories are involved, references to methods employed, etc.

Methods follow national/ international standards and guidelines (see below). Laboratories involved: Benthic fauna: Akvaplan-niva, Tromsø, Norway Sediment granulometry, TOC and TN - Geogruppen AS, Tromsø, Norway PAH/THC Unilab Analyse, Tromsø, Norway PCBs and pesticides - Norwegian Institute for Air Research, Kjeller, Norway Heavy Metals - Loring SedChem consultants, Canada Sediment dating- Lead 210 - Environmental Radioactivity Measurement facility, Florida state University, USA Modelling sediment dynamics and mixing - Akvaplan-niva, Tromsø, Norway

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

Sampling and analyses are carried out in accordance with existing JAMP, ICES and other relevant guidelines (eg. Norwegian Standards NS9423 and NS9422 for benthic fauna and contaminants, respectively. US laboratories use the US Environmnental Protection Agency QA/QC and guidelines. All laboratories use accredited methods and participate in ring-testing where appropriate.

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 Institute for Water Research (in addition to other analytical laboratories, see section 9)

Is this project reporting to other organizations/programmes?

The project reports to the client, the Governor of Svalbard. The client reports further to AMAP or as required.

Other related projects

Not run in conjunction with other projects but of relevance to other sedimentary and biodiversity studies around Svalbard.

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