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EARTH SCIENCE > HUMAN DIMENSIONS > ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS > CONTAMINANT LEVELS/SPILLS

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  • The impact of freeze-thaw cycling on a ZVI and inert medium was assessed using duplicated Darcy boxes subjected to 42 freeze-thaw cycles. This dataset consists of particle sizing during the decommissioning process of the experiment. Two custom built Perspex Darcy boxes of bed dimensions: length 362 mm, width 60 mm and height 194 mm were filled with a mixture of 5 wt% Peerless iron (Peerless Metal Powders and Abrasive, cast iron aggregate 8-50 US sieve) and 95 wt% glass ballotini ground glass (Potters Industries Inc. 25-40 US sieve). This ratio of media was selected to ensure that most aqueous contaminant measurements were above the analytical limit of quantification (LOQ) for feed solutions at a realistic maximum Antarctic metal contaminant concentration at a realistic field water flow rate. All solutions were pumped into and out of the Darcy boxes using peristaltic pumps and acid washed Masterflex FDA vitron tubing. Dry media was weighed in 1 kg batches and homogenised by shaking and turning end over end in a ziplock bag for 1 minute. To ensure that the media was always saturated, known amounts of Milli-Q water followed by the homogenised media were added to each box in approximately 1 cm layers. 20 mm of space was left at the top of the boxes to allow for frost heave and other particle rearrangement processes. On completion of freeze-thaw cycling and solution flow (refer to Statham 2014), an additional series of assessments was conducted. The media from between the entry weir and the first sample port was removed in five approximately 400 g samples of increasing depth. This procedure was repeated between the last sample port and the exit weir. These samples were left to dry in a fume cabinet before duplicated particle sizing using a Endcotts minor sieve shaker.

  • Metadata record for data from ASAC Project 2179 See the link below for public details on this project. Taken from a progress report of the project written in 1998: 60 terrestrial sediments have been taken from Wilkes and Thala Valley tip, with control sites at Robinsons Ridge and Jacks Donga. 50 marine sediments have been taken from the bay offshore from Thala Valley tip. 116 fresh and marine waters have been taken from the fresh water stream flowing through the Thala Valley tip, the tip/sea interface, and the nearshore marine offshore from Thala Valley tip and control sites. Formal integration of these data into a GIS is underway. These data have not been archived until 2012, hence the only data available were sourced from publications arising from the project.

  • This study assessed the performance of diffusive gradients in thin-films (DGT) with a binding resin that used Chelex-100 (iminodiacetic acid functional groups) to measure cadmium, copper, nickel, lead, and zinc contaminants in Antarctic marine conditions. To do this, three sets of experiments were done: (I) the uptake of metals to DGT samplers was assessed over time when deployed to three metal mixtures of known concentrations (DGT performance page). This allowed for the determination of metal diffusion coefficients in Antarctic marine conditions and demonstrated when metal competition for binding sites were likely to occur. (II) the DGT were deployed in the presence of the microalga Phaeocystis antarctica at a concentration of 1000-3000 cells/mL to investigate how environmentally realistic concentrations of an Antarctic marine microalgae affect the uptake of metals (DGT uptake with algae page). Finally, the DGT-labile concentrations from part (II) were used in reference toxicity mixture models to predict toxicity to the microalgae so they could be compared to a previous study that investigated the toxicity of metal mixtures to Phaeocystis antarctica and Cryothecomonas armigera (DGT toxicity modelling page).

  • Metadata record for data from ASAC Project 2946. Public Shallow nearshore marine habitats are rare in the Antarctic but human activities have led to their contamination. Preliminary studies suggest the characteristics of Antarctica nearshore sediments are different to elsewhere and that contaminant partitioning and absorption, and hence bioavailability, will also be very different. Predictive exposure-dose-response (effects) models need to be established to provide the theoretical basis for the development of sediment quality guidelines to guide remediation activities. Such a model will be possible through the development of an artificial 'living' sediment, which can be used to understand physical and chemical properties that control partitioning and absorption of contaminants. Taken from the 2009-2010 Progress Report: Project objectives: 1. Collate and review existing knowledge on sediment properties in nearshore marine sediments in Antarctica to determine their physical, chemical and microbiological properties and identify gaps in our knowledge of sediment characteristics 2. Construct a range of artificial sterile sediments taking into account characteristics of naturally occurring nearshore sediments in the Antarctic. Examine physical and chemical properties of these sediments and understand the properties that control partitioning of contaminants by manipulation of bulk sediment composition and measuring the adsorption isotherms of important metal contaminants (Cu, Cd, Pb, As, Sn, Sb) in these artificial sediments 3. Produce 'living' sediments by inoculation of sterile sediments with Antarctic bacteria and diatoms that will support natural microbial communities. Examine physical and chemical properties of these sediments and understand the properties that control the partitioning and absorption of contaminants by manipulation of the bulk sediment composition and spiking metal contaminants into these artificial sediments. Progress against objectives: Using published literature the approximate composition of Antarctic sediments was determined. Representative sediment phases were collected form a uncontaminated environment, the chemical composition measured and absorption capacities of Cd and Pb established. The download file contains several excel spreadsheets. Some information about them is provided below: My =ref is reference in thesis EN =is endnote reference Nearby station = is closest known reference point to where samples collected TOC = total organic carbon TOM = Total organic matter BPC =biogenic particulate carbon TN = total nitrogen TP = Total phosphorus BSi = biogenic silica Ci = initial aqueous phase concentration qe = solid phase equilibrium concentration

  • Metadata record for data from ASAC Project 1005 Metal and organic contaminants in marine invertebrates from Antarctica, field study of their concentrations, laboratory study of their toxicities. See the link below for public details on this project. Data from this project are now unrecoverable. Several publications arising from the work are attached to this metadata record, and are available to AAD staff only. Taken from the referenced publications: Bioaccumulation of Cd, Pb, Cu and Zn in the Antarctic gammaridean amphipod Paramoera walkeri was investigated at Casey station. The main goals were to provide information on accumulation strategies of the organisms tested and to verify toxicokinetic models as a predictive tool. The organisms accumulated metals upon exposure and it was possible to estimate significant model parameters of two compartment and hyperbolic models. These models were successfully verified in a second toxicokinetic study. However, the application of hyperbolic models appears to be more promising as a predictive tool for metals in amphipods compared to compartment models, which have failed to adequately predict metal accumulation in experiments with increasing external exposures in previous studies. The following kinetic bioconcentration factors (BCFs) for the theoretical equilibrium were determined: 150-630 (Cd), 1600-7000 (Pb), 1700-3800 (Cu) and 670-2400 (Zn). We find decreasing BCFs with increasing external metal dosing but similar results for treatments with and without natural UV radiation and for the combined effect of different exposure regimes (single versus multiple metal exposure) and/or the amphipod collective involved (Beall versus Denison Island). A tentative estimation showed the following sequence if sensitivity of P. walkeri to an increase of soluble metal exposure: 0.2-3.0 micrograms Cd per litre, 0.12-0.25 micrograms Pb per litre, 0.9-3.0 micrograms Cu per litre and 9-26 micrograms Zn per litre. Thus, the amphipod investigated proved to be more sensitive as biomonitor compared to gammarids from German coastal waters (with the exception of Cd) and to copepods from the Weddell Sea inferred from literature data. ####### This study provides information on LC50 toxicity tests and bioaccumulation of heavy metals in the nearshore Antarctic gammarid, Paramoera walkeri. The 4 day LC50 values were 970 micrograms per litre for copper and 670 micrograms per litre for cadmium. Net uptake rates and bioconcentration factors of these elements were determined under laboratory conditions. After 12 days of exposure to 30 micrograms per litre, the net uptake rates were 5.2 and 0.78 micrograms per gram per day and the bioconcentration factors were 2080 and 311 for copper and cadmium respectively. The body concentrations of copper were significantly correlated with the concentrations of this element in the water. Accumulation of copper and cadmium continued for the entire exposure suggesting that heavy metals concentrations were not regulated to constant concentrations in the body. Using literature data about two compartments (water-animal) first-order kinetic models, a very good agreement was found between body concentrations observed after exposure and model predicted. Exposure of P. walkeri to mixtures of copper and cadmium showed that accumulation of these elements can be assessed by addition of results obtained from single exposure, with only a small degree of uncertainty. The study provides information on the sensitivity of one Antarctic species towards contaminants, and the results were compared with data of similar species from lower latitudes. An important finding is that sensitivity to toxic chemicals and toxicokinetic parameters in the species investigated are comparable with those of non-polar species. The characteristics of bioaccumulation demonstrate that P. walkeri is a circumpolar species with the potential to be a standard biological indicator for use in monitoring programmes of Antarctic nearshore ecosystems. the use of model prediction provide further support to utilise these organisms for biomonitoring. ####### Heavy-metal concentrations were determined in tissues of different species of benthic invertebrates collected in the Casey region where an old waste-disposal tip site is a source of contamination. the species studied included the bivalve Laternula elliptica, starfish Notasterias armata, heart urchins Abatus nimrodi and A. ingens and gammaridean amphipod Paramoera walkeri. The specimens were collected at both reference and contaminated locations where lead was the priority element and copper was the next most important in terms of increased concentrations. The strong association between a gradient of contamination and concentrations in all species tested indicated that they are reflecting well the environmental changes, and that they appear as appropriate biological indicators of heavy-metal contamination. Aspects of the biology of species with different functional roles in the marine ecosystem are discussed in relation to their suitability for wider use in Antarctic monitoring programmes. For example, in terms of heavy-metal bioaccumulation, the bivalve appears as the most sensitive species to detect contamination; the starfish provides information on the transfer of metals through the food web while the heart urchin and gammarid gave indications of the spatial and temporal patterns of the environmental contamination. The information gathered about processes of contaminant uptake and partitioning among different tissues and species could be used in later studies to investigate the behaviour and the source of contaminants.

  • Marine debris records from beaches on Heard and Macquarie Islands and floating debris spotted on voyages. Data were collected by observers surveying beaches either methodically or opportunistically, and by observers spotting debris as it floated past ships. The data were originally collated into a searchable database, but the application is no longer supported by the Australian Antarctic Data Centre. An extract of the data is attached to this metadata record. The extract is in Excel format, and each worksheet is a copy of a database table.

  • This metadata record contains an Excel file containing total petroleum hydrocarbon data from analysis of marine sediments collected at Davis Station from December 2009 to March 2010. Refer to the Davis STP reports lodged under metadata record Davis_STP for the full Davis Sewage Treatment Project methods and result details. Davis STP - Total petroleum hydrocarbons Hydrocarbons were extracted from a 10g sub-sample of homogenised wet soil by tumbling overnight with a mixture of 10 mL of deionised water, 10 mL of dichlormethane (DCM), and 1 mL of DCM spiked with internal standards: 254 mg/L bromoeicosane; 55.2 mg/L 1,4 dichlorobenzene; 51.2 mg/L p-terphenyl; 52.2 mg/L tetracosane-d50; and 255 mg/L cyclo-octane. Samples were then centrifuged for 5 minutes at 1000 rpm, this was repeated a further 3 times to ensure complete separation of the organic and aqueous fractions. The DCM fraction was then extracted and placed into GC-vials. Extracts were analysed for total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPH) by gas chromatography using flame ionisation detection (GC-FID; Agilent 6890N with a split/splitless injector) and an auto-sampler (Agilent 7683 ALS). Separation was achieved using an SGE BP1 column (25 m x 0.22 mm ID, 0.25 µm film thickness). 1 µL of extract was injected (5:1 pulsed split) at 310° C and 17.7 psi of helium carrier gas. After 1.3 minutes, the carrier gas pressure was adjusted to maintain constant flow at 3.0 mL/min for the duration of the oven program. The oven temperature program was started at 36 °C (held for 3 minutes) and increased to 320 °C at 18 °C/min. Detector temperature was 330 °C. TPH concentrations were determined using a calibration curve, generated from standard solutions of special Antarctic blend diesel (SAB), and standard diesel. TPH was measured using the ratio of the total detector response of all hydrocarbons to the internal standard peak response. List of compounds analysed - C8-C28 individual hydrocarbon components - Naphthalene - Biomarkers (phytanes) - Total signal and area, and resolved compounds from C8 to C40, over specific ranges (e.g. C9-C18, SAB) Reporting limit - 0.3 mg.kg-1 on a dry matter basis (DMB) for individual components - 2.5-160 mg.kg-1 on a dry matter basis (DMB) for various calculated ranges Analytical uncertainty - Analytical precision: (a) 3 samples extracted and analysed in triplicate, (b) 3 extracts analysed by GC-FID in duplicate; only 1 of each set greater than RL (160): (a) RSD = 2%, (b) RSD = 0.4% - Site heterogeneity: reproducibility (RSD) of mean data from site replicate samples (mostly duplicates) was 24% (mean, SD 20%, range 4-60%, n=8) - From the limited data on reproducibility summarised above, it can be concluded that site heterogeneity contributes most to the uncertainty of the TPH data for the site locations. Background of the Davis STP project Refer to the Davis STP reports lodged under metadata record Davis_STP.

  • The present data set corresponds to the genotypes for seven microsatellite markers for three Antarctic sea urchin species of the genus Abatus. Sea urchin individuals were collected in five sites separated by up to 5 km in the near-shore area surrounding Davis Station in the Vestfold Hills Region, East Antarctica. For each microsatellite loci, the size of each allele was scored (in base pairs) using the CEQ 8000 Genetic Analysis System software v.8.0. Fragments were separated on an automated sequencer (CEQ 8000, Beckman Coulter) in the Central Science Laboratory at University of Tasmania.

  • Data on the morphological and reproductive responses of 4 species of wild caught Abatus heart urchins (A. nimrodi, A. shackletoni, A. ingens, and A. philippii) to sewage effluent from the Davis station sewage outfall. Between 19 and 21 individuals of each species were collected from three sites close to the station. The Sewage outfall site, which acted as the impacted site for the study, and two reference sites, one at Airport Beach, and a second and Heidemann Bay. Morphological measurements taken from each individual were length, width, height, anterior length, and posterior length. A qualitative assessment of the calcareous test of each individual was conducted to determine the presence of any abnormalities (as per Land 2005, PhD thesis) in the individuals morphology. Reproductive data collected were a gonadosotic index (calculated by dividing the gonal mass of a individual by the total mass of that individual). And for females morphological measurements (length and width) of each brood pouch were taken, and the type and number of juveniles in each pouch was counted. Data available: In the spreadsheet provided a description of measurements is given in the first tab. All morphological and reproductive data is presented in the second tab. In full these are; Parent Barcode (for tracking purposes) Individual Barcode (for tracking purposes), date collected (date the animal was collected) date processed (date data were collected) site (site the animal came from) species (nimrodi, shackletoni, ingens, or philippii) sex (male or female) samples taken for other projects (morphology, genetics, histology) Morphological measurements (length, width, height, posterior length, anterior length, all recorded in millimetres) Any of a possible 6 abnormalities observed. Brood pouch morphometrics (length and width in millimeters of each of the 4 brood pouches for a female) Reproductive fitness, being the number of young at any of 3 stages in each of the 4 brood pouches and the total number of juveniles produced by the adult female. Total Wet Mass (mass of the entire animal recorded in grams) Gonad Wet Mass (mass of the gonad of an individual) Gonadosmotic Index (measure of reproductive fitness, and is the Gonad Wet Mass divided by the Total Wet Mass of each individual) A blank datasheet used to record the data is contained within the third tab. The two final tabs are appendices used to aid the qualitative assessments. The first (Appendix 1) gives photo descriptions of each of the known abnormalities in Abatus sp (Adapted from Lane (2005) PhD thesis). The second (Appendix 2) gives photo descriptions of each of the developmental stages of juveniles in Abatus sp.

  • These are the scanned electronic copies of field and lab books used at Casey Station between 1997 and 2012 as part of ASAC (AAS) project 2385 - Development and application of DGT devices for passive sampling of contaminated waters in the Antarctic environment.