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Abstract Title: Distribution of Mercury in the sediments of high Arctic fjords, Svalbard
Presenter Name: SARITHA V Kesavan
Session: Mercury in Polar Ecosystems
Co-Authors: SARITHA V Kesavan

Abstract Information :

As a global pollutant, mercury is reported from the different environmental matrices of the Arctic environment. The latest studies reveal that climate variations can influence mercury's fate and transformation in the Arctic environment. Present study assessed the distribution of total mercury (THg) in the high Arctic fjords of the Svalbard archipelago. The samples were collected from six high Arctic fjords of Svalbard during the Indian Arctic expedition. The samples were analysed using a direct mercury analyser. The mean concentration of total mercury (THg) of Krossfjorden, Kongsfjorden, Holmiabuktafjorden, Raudfjorden, Smeerenburgfjorden, Magdalenefjorden and open sea were 0.028 ng/g, 0.016ng/g, 55.3 ng/g, 88.6ng/g, 85.3 ng/g, 30.73 ng/g and 59.83 ng/g respectively. Of the twenty-nine fjord samples studied, the sediments from Raudfjorden exhibited a higher concentration of THg in the sediment matrices. The present concentration is less than the highest concentration reported from the marine sediment since last five years from Svalbard (1 mg/kg). Besides the local sources, long-range atmospheric transport from the mid-latitude region is the source for the high latitudinal mercury deposition in the glaciers. The concentration of THg in the higher Arctic fjords signifies the importance of studying the release of mercury during increased glacier melting and permafrost thawing due to climate variations.

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