The aim of this study was to examine the pollution level of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and selected chloroorganic pesticides (HCH isomers, DDT and its metabolites, aldrin, dieldrin, endrin, heptachlor, endosulfan I and II, and methoxychlor) in surface sediments from selected fjords, tidal plains and lakes from the North Svalbard area. The sediments were collected from 34 sampling stations in July 2005. Only endosulfan I and methoxychlor, among selected chloroorganic pesticides, were measured in concentrations near detection limit (LoD) in fourteen sediment samples. The sum of seven PCB congeners varied from < 0.9 to 5.6 ng g-1 d.w. in sediments from fjords and tidal plains and from < 0.1 to 14.6 ng g-1 d.w. in sediments from lakes. The concentrations of analysed PAH compounds in surface sediments from lakes were over ten times higher (Ʃ16PAHs to 429 ng g-1 d.w.) than in sediments from fjords and tidal plains (Ʃ16PAHs to 36 ng g-1 d.w.).
The specific activity of natural gamma emitters like actinium (228Ac), bismuth (212Bi, 214Bi), lead (212Pb, 214Pb), potassium (40K), radium (224Ra), thallium (208Tl) and artificial radioisotope caesium (137Cs) was measured in 2005 in the surface layer of marine sediments in the northern Svalbard: Wijdefjorden, Woodfjorden, Vestfjorden and Bockfjorden as well as in the freshwater reservoirs in Andre Land. Nonuniform spatial distribution of these radionuclides was found. Sediment sample from Bockfjorden had the highest specific activities of all natural radionuclides. The specific radioactivity of 137Cs was much lower than specific radioactivities of natural radionuclides but there were differences between investigated locations. The distribution of 137Cs is similar to persistent organic pollutants of the lake sediments in the area.
The paper presents the first physicochemical and microbiological studies conducted in the northern area of Svalbard (Spitsbergen). Ten sediment samples were collected from the bottom of the longest fjord in the region, Wijdef jorden. Bottom sediments from ten lakes located along the shores of Wijdefjorden and Woodfjorden were also sampled. Organic matter content (LOI), water content, temperature, pH, and salinity of the sediments were determined. The quantity of aerobic bacteria cultured on various growth media at 4 ° C, 14 ° C, and 37 ° C ranged from 10 2 to 10 6 cfu/g of wet sediment mass, depending on the type of sampling station (fjord or lake). The number of bacteria did not co rrelate with organic matter content. Out of the 37 bacterial strains isolated from Wijdefjorden, 48% and 70% revealed ureolytic and proteolytic activity, respectively. The proportion of freshwater strains with ureolytic and proteolytic activity was 32% and 55%, respectively. Antibiotic resistance testing indicated that bacterial strains from the bottom sediments of the lakes were resistant to 8 antibiotics (out of the 18 investigated). Possible sources of this resistance are discussed. Using 16S DNA analysis, bacterial isolates from the lakes were identified as Pseudomonas sp., whereas frequently occurring strains in bottom sediment of the fjord were Pseudoalteromonas sp.