Articles | Volume 10, issue 5
Brief communication
26 Oct 2016
Brief communication |  | 26 Oct 2016

Brief communication: Organochlorine pesticides in an archived firn core from Law Dome, East Antarctica

Marie Bigot, Mark A. J. Curran, Andrew D. Moy, Derek C. G. Muir, Darryl W. Hawker, Roger Cropp, Camilla F. Teixeira, and Susan M. Bengtson Nash

Abstract. Organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) were, for the first time, quantified in archived firn cores from East Antarctica representative of 1945–1957 and 1958–1967 (current era, C.E.). The core sections were melted under high-purity nitrogen atmosphere, and the meltwater was analysed. Methods allowed quantification of hexachlorocyclohexanes, heptachlor, trans-chlordane, dieldrin and endrin. While the core presented evidence of nominal contamination by modern-use chemicals, indicating handling and/or storage contamination, legacy OCP concentrations and deposition rates reported are orders of magnitude lower than those from Arctic regions, lending support for their validity. The study further provides a description of equipment used and suggests methods to overcome logistical challenges associated with trace organic contaminant detection in polar regions.