Research on the chemistry of atmospheric precipitation in the Hornsund region of Svalbard has been extended by analysis of the organic contents. In rainfall samples collected in September 2003, the organics were separated by solid phase extraction (SPE), eluted and analysed on gas chromatograph coupled to a mass selective detector (GC/MS). Rainfall pH was in the range 4.72–5.45, the low values suggesting possible pollution. Concentrations of inorganic ions, expressed as total dissolved salts (TDS), were 5.40–13.18 mg L–1. Non-sea-salt (nss) sulphates were in the range 5–11 μeq L–1. In all samples, long-chain alkanes with chain length up to C36, and their methyl derivatives were detected. Among aromatic compounds biphenyl, dibenzofuran and its methyl derivatives were found. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) were represented by naphthalene, phenanthrene, fluorene, acenaphthene, fluoranthene and pyrene. There were no PAHs with higher numbers of rings. The synoptic meteorological conditions in September 2003 indicate that all organic and inorganic pollutants were of local origin.
Measurements of pollutants scavenged from air masses over southern Svalbard in summer precipitation are presented. Rainfall was sampled in July and August 2002 at Calypsobyen, Bellsund. Specific conductivity (SpC) and pH were measured and ion concentrations were determined by ion chromatography. Ions of marine origin were subtracted, assuming that all chlorides were of marine origin. The FLEXTRA trajectory model was applied to discover the sources of air masses arriving at Svalbard and track the paths of pollutant transport. Average (v/w) rainfall pH was 4.94, mean SpC amounted to 34.8 µS cm-1. Total dissolved solids concentration (TDS) ranged from 12.6 to 67 mg L-1, with ions of marine origin (Cl-, Na+, Mg2+) prevailing. Rains with the highest percentage of marine salts occurred with winds from the East at above average velocities. Non-sea salt (nss) sulphate concentrations ranged from 0.5 µeq L-1 to 23 µeq L-1, (v/w) average was 17 µeq L-1. Nitrate concentrations ranged from 0 to 24 µeq L-1. The highest concentrations of nss-SO42- and NO3- were measured on 25 August, when the highest rainfall occurred (27 mm) and pH was the lowest (4.65). Rainfall at Calypsobyen deposited 194 kg km-2 of acidifying anions and 263 kg km-2 of base cations over the recording period. The polluted air masses were mostly from northern and central Europe. Rainfalls scavenging air masses formed over Greenland and Norwegian Seas displayed similar concentrations, being probably polluted by SOx and NOx from ship emissions.