Water, Air, & Soil Pollution

, 229:398 | Cite as

An Evaluation of Trace Metal Concentration in Terrestrial and Aquatic Environments near Artigas Antarctic Scientific Base (King George Island, Maritime Antarctica)

  • C. Bueno
  • N. Kandratavicius
  • N. Venturini
  • R. C. L. Figueira
  • L. Pérez
  • K. Iglesias
  • E. Brugnoli


An evaluation of the concentration of metals in terrestrial and aquatic environments near Artigas Antarctic Scientific Base was assessed. Granulometric characteristics, total organic matter content, concentration of metals (Cd, Cr, Cu, Mn, Ni, Pb and Zn) and metalloid (As) in soil, marine and freshwater sediments were determined. The geoaccumulation index (Igeo) was used in order to analyse the contamination magnitude. Samples were collected in summer 2015–2016 covering 31 sampling stations; 15 terrestrial/soil stations (T0–T14) were placed considering the distribution of Artigas Base buildings and the septic tanks’ location. Eleven freshwater stations were placed along the three meltwater streams near Artigas Base (S0–S10), and two in Uruguay Lake (L1 and L2). Finally, three marine stations in Maxwell Bay were placed one near the Artigas Base (AB) and two far from it in North Cove (NC1, NC2). Some of the terrestrial stations (T2, T10, T11 and T13) presented the highest concentration of metals and Igeo values, which was associated to anthropic activities. Highest metal levels were related to fuel storage and handling, but also, with sewage release and the presence of old leaded paint residues. These polluted sites were limited to a restricted area of Artigas Base, not affecting surrounding environments. Concentrations of the analysed metals in unpolluted sites had the same order of magnitude recorded in other unpolluted areas of the Fildes Peninsula and other Antarctic regions.


Human impact Heavy metals Sediment Soil Antarctica 



The authors would like to thank CSIC (Comisión Sectorial de Investigación Científica, Universidad de la República) and the Uruguayan Antarctic Institute (IAU) for their support. SNI-ANII (Agencia Nacional de Investigación e Innovación) is acknowledged for its support to N Venturini. Special thanks to the crew ‘Antarkos XXXI’ of Artigas Antarctic Scientific Base for helping during sampling surveys. Also, the Department of Scientific Coordination of the IAU is very much acknowledged by the authors for supporting the development of this work. This work is part of the Project IAU-P-DCC-15.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. Bueno
    • 1
  • N. Kandratavicius
    • 1
  • N. Venturini
    • 1
    • 2
  • R. C. L. Figueira
    • 3
  • L. Pérez
    • 4
  • K. Iglesias
    • 2
  • E. Brugnoli
    • 1
  1. 1.Oceanografía y Ecología Marina, Instituto de Ecología y Ciencias Ambientales, Facultad de CienciasUniversidad de la RepúblicaMontevideoUruguay
  2. 2.Laboratorio de Biogeoquímica Marina. Instituto de Ecología y Ciencias Ambientales, Facultad de CienciasUniversidad de la RepúblicaMontevideoUruguay
  3. 3.Laboratório de Química Inorgânica Marinha, Instituto OceanográficoUniversidade de São PauloSão PauloBrazil
  4. 4.Centro Universitario Regional EsteUniversidad de la RepúblicaRochaUruguay

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