The Historical Record of Persistent Organic Pollutants and Trace Metals in Glacial Snow and Ice

Regions: Qikiqtaaluk Region, Nunavut

Tags: physical sciences, contaminants, glaciology, metals, ice, snow, organic contaminants, ice cap, deposition

Principal Investigator: Gregor, Dennis J. (7)
Licence Number: 12338
Organization: National Water Research Institute
Licensed Year(s): 1994 1993
Issued: Jan 01, 1993
Project Team: R.M. Koerner, J. Nriagu, M. Alaee, A. Peters

Objective(s): To quantify annual residue trends and historical deposition trends of trace organic contaminants and metals in arctic ice caps; to quantify annual variability of deposition of these compounds as a result of variable atmospheric conditions; to determine the major processes controlling the fate of these contaminants in glaciers that could influence the deposition trend (including re-volitization to the atmosphere, transfer between annual layers by gas transfer, and melt water and photochemical degradation within the snow layers).

Project Description: Ice caps have been used to measure changes in the chemistry of the atmosphere over long periods of time. The studies have addressed climate change, levels of pollutants resulting from human activities, and levels of materials put into the atmosphere by natural processes (e.g., volcano eruptions). This on-going study has been examining the levels of contaminants in ice caps since 1986 by collecting samples of snow and ice at various layers in the ice caps.