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The Transportation, Distribution, and Fate of Persistent Organic Pollutants in the Arctic

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Description: Persistent organic pollutants (POPs), emitted primarily in low and mid-latitude regions, are present in the Arctic primarily due to long range atmospheric transport (LRAT). Approximately 4 months of fieldwork was carried out in Barrow, Alaska to observe the behavior of POPs during Arctic spring. Samples were collected before, during, and after the snowmelt to track the changes in POP concentrations relative to each environmental compartment. The levels of POPs during the late winter months remained relatively stable. It was not until the onset of the spring melt that the concentration of POPs experienced significant changes. Changes not only in the total POP concentrations but in the relative amounts of the different POPs indicate a partitioning of certain POPs to snowmelt water based on their physical properties. In agreement with previous laboratory and field studies the POPs do not appear to significantly revolatilize during the snowmelt.
Language: English
Format: Degree Work