Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: An investigation of metal contaminants in sediments of Arctic Svalbard : inferences for sources and transport pathways
Author: Vare, L. L.
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2007
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
The Arctic region is a seemingly pristine, remote environment yet in the past few decades there has been increasing evidence that it is greatly impacted by anthropogenic metal contamination. There are three main metal contaminants of major concern, lead (Pb) mercury (Hg) and cadmium (Cd). The aim of this research was to further investigate heavy metal contamination, specifically within the sediments of the Svalbard region, and the Barents Sea area, within the Arctic. Ten sediment cores were taken for analysis, each core was analysed to ascertain metal concentrations and to reconstruct the temporal contaminant history of the area. The cores were taken from three different environments; lacustrine, fjordic and marine. A comparison between these core sites allowed identification of the major transport pathways within this region and the relative importance of atmospheric and oceanic transport. Two cores from a freshwater lake, Lake Ossian (ICOS1) and an noxic lagoon, Bradallaguna (ICNL1) provide unequivocal evidence for the atmospheric transport of Pb. The most compelling story emerges from marine cores. The marine cores provide vital evidence that contaminant Pb is transported by oceanic currents to the Arctic environment. This study supports the hypothesis that the Atlantic water current is a prominent pathway for the transportation of Pb to the Eurasian Arctic Basin, the Pb being scavenged to the underlying sediments en-route. Four cores along a longitudinal transect were analysed for Hg. None of the four cores displayed evidence of significant anthropogenic contamination. It is evident in the literature and from this study that further research is required to improve the understanding of the complex Hg biogeochemical cycle. This research also supports the hypothesis that the dissolution and remobilisation of Cd can make sediments a poor record of Cd temporal history.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available