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TitleTotal mercury in snow and ice samples from Canadian High Arctic ice caps and glaciers: A practical procedure and method for total Hg quantification at low pg g-1 level
AuthorZheng, JORCID logo; Pelchat, P; Vaive, J; Bass, D; Ke, F
SourceScience of the Total Environment vol. 468-469, 2013 p. 487-494,
Alt SeriesEarth Sciences Sector, Contribution Series 20130086
PublisherElsevier BV
Mediapaper; on-line; digital
File formatpdf
NTS39G/09; 39G/10; 39G/11; 39G/12; 39G/13; 39G/14; 39G/15; 39G/16; 39H/09; 39H/10; 39H/11; 39H/12; 39H/13; 39H/14; 39H/15; 39H/16; 49H/09; 49H/10; 49H/15; 49H/16; 340A; 340B/01; 340D/01; 340D/02; 340D/07; 340D/08; 340D/09; 340D/10; 120B/04; 120B/05; 120B/12; 120B/13; 120C/04; 120C/05; 120C/12; 120C/13
AreaMt. Oxford Icefield; Agassiz Ice Cap
Lat/Long WENS -82.0000 -70.0000 82.0000 79.5000
Subjectsenvironmental geology; surficial geology/geomorphology; Health and Safety; environmental impacts; environmental studies; environmental analysis; mercury; snow; ice; analytical methods; heavy metals contamination; Human health
Illustrationstables; plots
ProgramEnvironmental Geoscience environmental impacts and adaptation in the northern environment
Released2014 01 01
AbstractA newly developed procedure and method for studying total Hg (THg) in the High Arctic glaciers and ice caps, including container type selection, on-site sampling, sample protection and storage, and sample decontamination is reported in this study. Two analytical systems for THg quantification were also compared to confirm the accuracy and reproducibility. This study found that container types, storage time, sample protection from exposure to light and environment are all important for precise quantification of THg in snowand ice samples fromthe Canadian High Arctic glaciers and ice caps.
With this newly developed procedure and method, we retrieved 28-year and 73-year archives for atmospheric THg deposition from Mt. Oxford and Agassiz Ice Cap respectively. Our results show that snow and ice samples contain THg concentrations varying from sub pg g-1 to low pg g-1. Comparison of THg concentration trends and fluxes from the two sites demonstrates that quantification of THg from the two locations with similar altitudes and latitudes can be reproducible, which suggests that historical THg information fromatmospheric deposition can be preserved in snowand ice in the glaciers and ice caps. The high reproducibility of results achieved by this procedure and method, in return, confirmed its suitability for studies of THg in snowand ice samples fromice caps and glaciers.
Summary(Plain Language Summary, not published)
Mercury (Hg) is currently an element of interest in the High Arctic as it can have adverse impacts on human health and the environment. To better understand how Hg enters into the Arctic environment, it is desirable to gain knowledge of temporal and spatial distribution patterns of Hg in the High Arctic. This study aims to develop a practical method to address sample integrity for total Hg studies in snow and ice. This includes field blanks, reproducibility, container type, accuracy and facility backgrounds as well as cross check of data quality using two different mercury analyzers. It also aims to carry out total Hg archive reconstruction from two sites of glaciers in the High Arctic region after successful development of the snow and ice sampling procedure and method. This study found that container types, storage time, sample protection from exposure to light and environment are all important, and two archives retrieved with this method can be comparable.

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