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Abstract Title: Relationships between Hg and physicochemical properties in soil profiles of Cierva Point (Antarctic Peninsula)
Presenter Name: Mar¡a_Jos‚ Sierra
Company/Institution: CIEMAT
Session: Mercury in Polar Ecosystems
Co-Authors: Mar¡a_Jos‚ Sierra

Abstract Information :

Antarctica is considered one of the few areas in the world that remains relatively pristine mainly due to its isolation from human activity. Even so, the atmospheric release of trace metal pollutants threats at a global scale. One of these pollutants is mercury (Hg) for which the Polar Regions are important sinks. Environmental sources of Hg can be either natural or anthropogenic. This element can be transported from remote places through atmospheric transport across low latitudes or by ocean currents. Other transport routes can be its bioaccumulation or biomagnification through the food chain. Therefore, animal biological remains such as excrements, can contribute Hg. In addition to the anthropogenic sources, it should not be forgotten that Hg occurs naturally from the abundance of volcanic material in the Antarctica Peninsula and surrounding islands. There are few studies on the presence of Hg in Antarctica and most are related to air, snow, sediments, mosses, liquens or marine animals. Data on edaphic Hg are very scarce and, therefore, a better understanding of its distribution and behavior along the soil profile is necessary. The objective of this work is: 1) to study the concentration and distribution of total Hg in soil profiles of Cierva Point (Antarctic Peninsula) considering the site specific conditions; 2) to define the soil parameters that have the most influence on the presence of Hg in the soil that can give clues about its possible origins (mineral, biological, atmospheric?) and 3) to approach to the identification of possible relict biogenic soils related. Samples were obtained during two field expeditions, physical and chemical analyses were carried out for all the established soil horizons and different statistical analysis were applied

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