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Contribution of the atmospheric channel to lead contamination of soils in the Arctic territories. P. 56–64

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Section: Geosciences






EI Kotova1, IA Kuznetsova1, VV Kriauciunas1, SA Iglovsky1, NS Larionov1
1 N. Laverov Federal Centre for Integrated Studies of the Arctic of Russian Academy of Sciences (Arkhangelsk, Russian Federation)
Corresponding author: Irina Kuznetsova (


Although the Arctic territories have long been considered “the gold standard of purity”, global climate change and environmental pollution are having a significant impact on the state of Arctic ecosystems. In particular, industrial complexes combined with transboundary transport are having a negative impact. The aim of this work is to determine the contribution of atmospheric Pb to the contamination of soils of the Arctic territories using the trajectory statistics method which combines correlation and factor statistical processing approaches while taking the actual lead content in the upper soil horizon into account. In order to assess the transfer of pollutants, an analysis of multiannual air mass tracts and impurity transfer trajectories to certain points was carried out. The objects of study are the soil of the Khorey-Ver settlement, the basin of the Shapkin and Sula rivers, northeastern and southern Svalbard and the islands of the Southern Archipelago of Novaya Zemlya. It was established that the primary contribution to airborne pollution of the Nenets Autonomous District (NAO) during the summer period comes from sources located within a radius of about 400 km. Aerogenic influence of the mainland on the territory of Svalbard is practically absent, with the main atmospheric transport of substances coming from nearby marine areas. The transfer of impurities from the mainland to the Novaya Zemlya District is also insignificant. During the summer months, there is practically no airborne lead contamination of the island territories. Some influences on the territory of Novaya Zemlya and the NEO can be traced to sources on the Kola Peninsula, the coasts of the Barents and Kara seas, as well as long-distance transport from the southern regions. On the territory of the NAO, the number of heavy metal (HM) precipitations increases from west to east, possibly indicating a stronger impact of emissions from the Norilsk industrial hub than from the enterprises of the Kola Peninsula on this territory. In terms of seasonal dynamics, the island points are characterised by an increase in HM fluxes during the winter period; conversely, for the NAO territory, such an increase takes place during the summer. This discrepancy is primarily due to the changing nature of the atmospheric circulation.


lead, soil, Arctic Region, atmospheric transport
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