The local deposition of heavy metal emissions from point sources in Antarctica
Surface snow samples have been analysed for the heavy metals Cd, Cu, Pb and Zn to investigate the spatial scale of local sources of pollution in Antarctica. Samples from around an isolated petrol generator showed vastly increased levels (up to 800,000 times background) directly under the exhaust. Concentrations fell sharply with distance from the exhaust, reaching background levels at 40 m, even in the downwind direction. Snow was also collected at various distances from a manned scientific station. The data are more difficult to interpret, but the influence of the station could not be detected beyond 10 km. These findings indicate the areas that are influenced by local emissions, and that are therefore unsuitable for air and snow sampling intended to study larger-scale pollution input.