The Seasonal Cycle of Organochlorine Concentrations in the Canadian Basin

Updated 2000-06-23

In September 1997, the CCGS Des Groseillers was frozen into the permanent ice-pack and started a year-long science program drifting across the southern Canada Basin. This program provided a unique opportunity to carry out a "vertical" food-chain study in a seasonal context to learn how the physical and biological systems couple to produce contaminant entry into the food web (Figure 1). "Vertical" components included the water and ice, particles, algae, zooplankton (sorted by trophic level), fish and seal.. The interpretation of contaminant data collected during SHEBA will provide information about the relationship between seasonal ice formation and melt, seasonal atmospheric transport and water column organochlorine concentrations in the Canada Basin. In addition our contaminant sampling program was integrated within a larger science plan where other SHEBA researchers studied the physical and biological properties of the water column. This means that contaminant distributions can be interpreted and modeled within the full context of physical, chemical and biological processes, and of atmospheric and oceanic transport mechanisms.

This is not a National Implementation Plan (NIP) project

Time frame

Project time span
1997 - 2000
Data collection
1997 - 1998
Data processing
1998 - 2000
Data reporting
2000 - 2002

Contact information

Contact person
Robie W. Macdonald
Institute of Ocean Sciences P.O. Box 6000 Sidney, BC V8L 4B2 Canada
+1 250 363-6409
+1 250 363-6807
Other project contacts
Gary Stern Freshwater Institute Winnipeg, MN Tel: (204) 984-6761/983-7113/983-5132, Fax: (204) 984-2403, E-mail;

Parameters and Media

Parameter groups measured/observed/modelled
Climate change effects
Heavy metals
Persistent organic pollutants (POPs)
Media sampled/studied/modelled
Algae (algae, phytoplankton)
Marine fish
Seawater/suspended particulate matter


Regions studied
Persistent organic pollutants (POPs)
Persistent organic pollutants (POPs)
Persistent organic pollutants (POPs)
Stations or areas where observations are made

see and

Data availability

Are data archived or planned to be archived at an AMAP Thematic Data Centre?
If no (or only part of data are reported to a TDC), where and how are (other) data stored?
Stored as Excel files at IOS and/or FWI
References to key publications (or planned publications) and data reports
Macdonald R. W., Carmack E. C., McLaughlin F. A., Falkner K. K., and Swift J. H. (1999) Connections among ice, runoff and atmospheric forcing in the Beaufort Gyre. Geophysical Research Letters 26(15), 2223-2226.
Samples/specimens archived in specimen banks?
Specimen banking information

Frozen at FWI

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.

Samples collected at site by a variety of techniques including water, Infiltrex pumps, PUF plugs (atm), nets (biota), filters. Biological samples stored frozen at -20deg C.

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

Analysis of OC contaminants carried out at FWI lab (G. Stern) by methods acceptable to the NCP program and following QA/QC requirements of that program. Details available on request.

Additional Information

Is this a bi- AND multi-lateral project (i.e. a project involving cooperation between different countries)?
Is this project reporting to other organizations/programmes?

Northern Contaminants Program, Canada

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