Spring Melt and the Redistribution of Organochlorine Pesticides in the Sea-Ice Environment: A Comparative Study between Arctic and Antarctic Regions
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Complementary sampling of air, snow, sea-ice, and seawater for a range of organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) was undertaken through the early stages of respective spring sea-ice melting at coastal sites in northeast Greenland and eastern Antarctica to investigate OCP concentrations and redistribution during this time. Mean concentrations in seawater, sea-ice and snow were generally greater at the Arctic site. For example, α-HCH was found to have the largest concentrations of all analytes in Arctic seawater and sea-ice meltwater samples (224–253 and 34.7–48.2 pg·L–1 respectively compared to 1.0–1.3 and <0.63 pg·L–1 respectively for Antarctic samples). Differences in atmospheric samples were generally not as pronounced however. Findings suggest that sea-ice OCP burdens originate from both snow and seawater. The distribution profile between seawater and sea-ice showed a compound-dependency for Arctic samples not evident with those from the Antarctic, possibly due to full submersion of sea-ice at the former. Seasonal sea-ice melt processes may alter the exchange rates of selected OCPs between air and seawater, but are not expected to reverse their direction, which fugacity modeling indicates is volatilisation in the Arctic and net deposition in the Antarctic. These predictions are consistent with the limited current observations.
Environmental Science & Technology
Environmental Chemistry (incl. Atmospheric Chemistry)