The contamination of the marine environment surrounding coastal Antarctic research stations remains insufficiently understood in terms of its extent, persistence, and characteristics. AAD researchers investigated the presence of contaminants in marine sediments near Casey Station, located in the Windmill Islands of East Antarctica, during the period spanning from 1997 to 2015. The CSL played a key part in this longitudinal study through extensive sediment analysis for metals using the High Resolution ICP-MS facility with Ashley Townsend.
The study found that Antarctic research stations such as Casey are likely to pose a moderate level of long-term ecological risk to local marine ecosystems through localised marine pollution. However, contamination is expected to be confined to areas in close proximity to the stations, although its extent and concentration are anticipated to increase with time. Raising awareness of the contamination risks associated with Antarctic stations and implementing monitoring programs for marine environments adjacent to these stations can contribute to informed decision-making and the improvement of environmental management practices in Antarctica.
Read the full paper here: https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0288485
Please contact Ashley Townsend for more information.