, Volume 42, Issue 6, pp 724–736 | Cite as

Spatial Trends of Trace-Element Contamination in Recently Deposited Lake Sediment Around the Ni–Cu Smelter at Nikel, Kola Peninsula, Russian Arctic

  • Sigurd Rognerud
  • Vladimir A. Dauvalter
  • Eirik Fjeld
  • Brit Lisa Skjelkvåle
  • Guttorm Christensen
  • Nickolay Kashulin


A large copper–nickel smelter complex is located at the Kole Penninsula, Russia, close to the Norwegian border. Trace-element concentrations in surface sediments (0–0.5 cm) and pre-industrial sediments from 45 lakes in the region were used to uncover spatial deposition patterns and contamination factor of sediments. Elevated concentrations were found, especially for Ni and Cu, but also for Pb, Co, Hg, As, and Cd. Highest concentrations were found up to 20 km from the smelter, but the concentrations decreased exponentially with distance from the smelter. Increasing Ni, Cu, As, and Hg concentrations from sub-surface to surface sediments were found for lakes at intermediate distances (20–60 km). This may reflect recent changes in atmospheric depositions, as shown in nearby Norwegian areas. However, we cannot rule out that this also may have been caused by diagenetic processes, especially for the most redox-sensitive elements such as As.


Metals Smelter Sub-arctic Sediments Lakes 



The present work is partly funded by the Norwegian Minister of Environment and Ministry (RUS-09/036) under the program “Nordområdetiltak og prosjektsamarbeid til Russland”. The funding was administered by the Department for Russia, Eurasia and Regional cooperation, and the Norwegian Ministry for Foreign Affairs. In addition, contributions to the funding came from Norwegian Institute for Water Research (NIVA) and Institute of the Industrial Ecology Problems of the North (INEP).

Supplementary material

13280_2013_384_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (1.2 mb)
Supplementary material (PDF 1272 kb)


  1. All-Gill, S.M., J. Ford, B.K. Lasorsa, M. Monett, T. Vlasova, and D.H. Landers. 2003. Heavy metal contamination in the Taimyr Peninsula, Siberian Arctic. Science of the Total Environment 301: 119–138.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. AMAP. 2002. Arctic pollution 2002. Heavy metals in the Arctic. Oslo, Norway: Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program (AMAP).Google Scholar
  3. AMAP. 2011. Arctic Pollution 2011. Oslo, Norway: Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program (AMAP).Google Scholar
  4. Berglen, T.F., K. Arnesen, A. Rhode, and D. Tønnesen. 2011. Air quality monitoring in the border areas of Norway and Russia—Progress report April 2010–March 2011. NILU Report OR 31/2011, Oslo, Norway, 20 pp. (in Norwegian, English Summary).Google Scholar
  5. Blais, J.M., K.E. Duff, T.E. Laing, and J.P. Smol. 1999. Regional contamination in lakes from the Norilsk region in Siberia, Russia. Water, Air, and Soil pollution 110: 389–404.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Boudreau, B.P. 1999. Metals and models: Diagenetic modelling in freshwater lacustrine sediments. Journal of Paleolimnology 22: 227–251.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Boyle, J. 2001. Recox remobilization and the heavy metal record in lake sediments: A modeling approach. Journal of Paleolimnology 26: 423–431.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Dauvalter, V.A. 1994. Heavy metals in lake sediments of the Kola peninsula, Russia. Science of the Total Environment 158: 51–61.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Dauvalter, V.A. 2003. Impact of mining and refining on the distribution and accumulation of nickel and other heavy metals in sediments of subarctic Lake Kuetsjarvi, Murmansk Region, Russia. Journal of Enviromental Monitoring 5: 210–215.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Dauvalter, V.A., and S. Rognerud. 2001. Heavy metal pollution in sediments of the Pasvik River drainage. Chemosphere 42: 9–18.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Dauvalter, V., N. Kashulin, S. Sandimirov, P. Terentjev, D. Denisov, and P-A. Amundsen. 2011. Chemical composition of lake sediments along a pollution gradient in a subarctic watercource. Journal of Environmental Science and Health 46: 1020–1033.Google Scholar
  12. Fjeld, E., S. Rognerud, and E. Steinnes. 1994. Influence of environmental factors on heavy metal concentration in lake sediments in southern Norway indicated by path analysis. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 52: 1708–1720.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Gregurek, D., C. Reiman, and M.E. Stumpfl. 1998. Trace elements and precious metals in snow samples from the immediate vicinity of nickel processing plant, Kola Peninsula, North West Russia. Environmental Pollution 102: 221–232.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Gregurek, D., F. Melcher, V.A. Pavlov, C. Reimann, and E.F. Stumpfl. 1999. Mineralogy and mineral chemistry of snow filter residues in the vicinity of the nickel–copper processing industry, Kola Peninsula, NW Russia. Mineralogy and Petrology 65: 87–111.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Gunn, J.M., N. Conroy, W.E. Lautenbach, D.A.B. Pearson, M.J. Puro, J.D. Shorthouse, and M.E. Wiseman. 1995. From resaturation to sustainable ecosystems. Progress in restoring the smelter-damaged landscape near Sudbury, Canada. In Restoration and recovery of an industrial region, ed. J.M. Gunn, 358 pp. New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  16. Kashulin, N.A., S.S. Sandimirov, V.A. Dauvalter, L.P. Kudryavtzeva, P.M. Terentjev, D.B. Denisov, O.I. Vandysh, and S.A. Valkova. 2012. Annotated ecological catalogue of lakes of central part of the Murmansk region. Kola Science Centre RAS, Apatiti, Russia, 221 pp (in Russian).Google Scholar
  17. Klif. 2011. Overvåking av langtransportert forurenset luft og nedbør. Årsrapport – Effekter 2010. Klima- og forurensningsdirektoratet (Klif). Statlig program for forurensningsovervåking. Rapport 6214/2011. TA 2793/2010, 159 pp (in Norwegian, English summary).Google Scholar
  18. Mousavi, S.K., R. Primicerio, and P.A. Amundsen. 2003. Diversity and structure of Chironomidae (Diptera) communities along a gradient of heavy metal contamination in a subarctic watercourse. Science of Total Environment 307(1–3): 93–110.Google Scholar
  19. Norton, S.A., A. Henriksen, P.G. Appelby, L.L. Ludwig, D.V. Vereault, and T. Traaen. 1992. Trace metal pollution in Eastern Finnmark, Norway, as evidenced by studies of lake sediments. Statlig program for forurensningsovervåkning, NIVA-report 487/92, Oslo, Norway, 42 pp.Google Scholar
  20. Pacyna, J.M. 1987. Atmospheric emissions of arsenic, cadmium, lead and mercury from high temperature processes in power generation and industry. In Lead, cadmium and arsenic in the environment, ed. T.C. Hutchinson and K.M. Meema, 360 pp. Chichester: Wiley.Google Scholar
  21. Pacyna, E.G., and J.M. Pacyna. 2002. Global emission of mercury from anthropogenic sources in 1995. Water, Air, and Soil pollution 137: 143–165.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Rognerud, S., and E. Fjeld. 2001. Trace element contamination of Norwegian lake sediments. AMBIO 30: 11–19.Google Scholar
  23. Rognerud, S., T. Skotvold, E. Fjeld, S.A. Norton, and A. Hobæk. 1998. Concentrations of trace elements in recent and preindustrial sediments from Norwegian and Russian Arctic lakes. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 55: 1512–1523.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Santschi, P.H. 1988. Factors controlling the biogeochemical cycles of trace elements in fresh and coastal waters as revealed by artificial radioisotopes. Limnology and Oceanography 33: 848–866.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. SAS Institute Inc. 2010. JMP ® 9 modeling and multivariate methods. Cary, NC: SAS Institute Inc. (Computer program).Google Scholar
  26. Schindler, D.W., K.A. Kidd, D.C.G. Muir, and W.L. Lockhart. 1995. The effects of ecosystem characteristics on contaminant distribution in northern freshwater lakes. Science of Total Environment 160: 1–17.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Stebel, K., G. Christensen, J. Derome, and I. Grekela (eds). 2007. State of the environment in the Norwegian, Finnish and Russian border Area. The Finnish Environment 6, 98 pp.Google Scholar
  28. Steinnes, E., N. Lukina, V. Nikonov, D. Aamlid, and O. Røyseth. 2000. A gradient study of 34 elements in the vicinity of a copper–nickel smelter at the Kola Peninsula. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 60: 71–88.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Surinin, V.A., Kovnatsky, E.G., Lobov, A.J., Vasilenko, V.N., Belikova, T.V., Nazarov, I.M., Bezuglaya, E.Y. 1997. Environmental impacts of the atmospheric emissions of the smelters at Norilsk, Central Siberia. The AMAP International Symposium on Environmental Pollution in the Arctic. Extended abstracts Vol. 1. Tromsø, Norway.Google Scholar
  30. Wathne, B. M., S.T.Partick, D. Monteith, and H. Barth. 1995. AL: PE Project Part 1: Acidification of Mountain Lakes: Paleolimnology and Ecology. Report for the period April 1991–April 1993. Ecosystems Research Report 9. Publication No-EUR 16129 EN, European Commission Brussels. 296 pp.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sigurd Rognerud
    • 1
  • Vladimir A. Dauvalter
    • 2
  • Eirik Fjeld
    • 3
  • Brit Lisa Skjelkvåle
    • 3
  • Guttorm Christensen
    • 4
  • Nickolay Kashulin
    • 2
  1. 1.Norwegian Institute for Water Research (NIVA)OttestadNorway
  2. 2.Institute of Northern Industrial Ecology Problems (INEP), Kola Science CentreRussian Academy of ScienceMurmansk RegionRussia
  3. 3.Norwegian Institute for Water Research (NIVA)OsloNorway
  4. 4.Akvaplan-niva ASTromsøNorway

Personalised recommendations