Chemometric Analysis for Pollution Source Assessment of Harbour Sediments in Arctic Locations

Kristine B. Pedersen, Tore Lejon, Pernille Erland Jensen, Lisbeth M. Ottosen

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Pollution levels, pollutant distribution and potential source assessments based on multivariate analysis (chemometrics) were made for harbour sediments from two Arctic locations; Hammerfest in Norway and Sisimiut in Greenland. High levels of heavy metals were detected in addition to organic pollutants. Preliminary assessments based on principal component analysis (PCA) revealed different sources and pollutant distribution in the sediments of the two harbours. Tributyltin (TBT) was, however, found to originate from point source(s), and the highest concentrations of TBT in both harbours were found adjacent to the former shipyards. Polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) ratios and PCA plots revealed that the predominant source in both harbours was pyrogenic related to coal/biomass combustion. Comparison of commercial polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) mixtures with PCB compositions in the sediments indicated relation primarily to German, Russian and American mixtures in Hammerfest; and American, Russian and Japanese mixtures in Sisimiut. PCA was shown to be an important tool for identifying pollutant sources and differences in pollutant composition in relation to sediment characteristics.
Original languageEnglish
JournalWater, Air, and Soil Pollution
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Harbour sediments
  • Heavy metals
  • PAH
  • PCB
  • TBT
  • Principal component analysis

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