Anthropogenic effects on the marine environment adjacent to Palmer Station, Antarctica Academic Article uri icon


  • AbstractLocalized contamination from research-related activities and its effects on macrofauna communities in the marine environment were investigated at Palmer Station, a medium-sized Antarctic research station. Relatively low concentrations of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs; 32302 ng g-1) and total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPHs; 0.98.9 g g-1) were detected in sediments adjacent to the sewage outfall and pier, where most human activities were expected to have occurred, and at even lower concentrations at two seemingly reference areas (PAHs 630 ng g-1, TPHs 0.035.1 g g-1). Elevated concentrations of PAHs in one sample taken in one reference area (816 ng g-1) and polychlorinated biphenyls (353 ng g-1) and dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethane (3.2 and 25.3 ng g-1) in two samples taken adjacent to the sewage outfall indicate spatial heterogeneity of localized sediment contamination. Limpet (Nacella concinna) tissues collected adjacent to Palmer Station had high concentrations of PAHs, copper, lead, zinc and several other metals relative to outlying islands. Sediment and limpet tissue contaminant concentrations have decreased since the early 1990s following the Baha Paraso spill. Natural sediment characteristics affected macrofaunal community composition more than contamination adjacent to Palmer Station, presumably because of the low overall contamination levels.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Palmer, T. A., Klein, A. G., Sweet, S. T., Montagna, P. A., Hyde, L. J., Wade, T. L., & Beseres Pollack, J.

citation count

  • 2

complete list of authors

  • Palmer, Terence A||Klein, Andrew G||Sweet, Stephen T||Montagna, Paul A||Hyde, Larry J||Wade, Terry L||Beseres Pollack, Jennifer

publication date

  • December 2022