trace metal in Antarctic ecosystems, larsemann Hills, East AntarcticaEntry ID: ECA067
Abstract: Sediments, mosses and algae, collected from lake catchments of the Larsemann Hills, East Antarctica, were analyzed to establish baseline levels of trace metals (Ag, As, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Ni, Sb, Pb, Se, V and Zn), and to quantify the extent of trace metal pollution in the area. Both impacted and non-impacted sites were included in the study. Four different leaching solutions (1 M MgCl2, 1M ... CH3COONH4, 1M NH4NO3, and 0.3 N HCl) were tested on the fine fraction (<63 lm) of the sediments to extract the mobile fraction of trace metals derived from human impact and from weathering of basement lithologies. Results of these tests indicate that dilute HCl partly dissolves primary minerals present in the sediment, thus leading to an overestimate of the mobile trace metal fraction. Concentrations of trace metals released using the other 3 procedures indicate negligible levels of anthropogenic contribution to the trace metal budget. Data derived from this study and a thorough characterization of the site allowed the authors to define natural baseline levels of trace metals in sediments, mosses and algae, and their spatial variability across the area. The results show that, with a few notable exceptions, human activities at the research stations have contributed negligible levels (lower than natural variability) of trace metals to the Larsemann Hills ecosystem. This study further demonstrates that anthropogenic sources of trace metals can be correctly identified and quantified only if natural baselines, their variability, and processes controlling the mobility of trace metals in the ecosystem, have been fully characterized.
Start Date: 1996-01-01Stop Date: 1997-12-30
ISO Topic Category
Data Set Progress
Creation and Review Dates
DIF Creation Date: 2012-07-30
Last DIF Revision Date: 2012-08-01