Spatial Distributions of DDTs in the Water Masses of the Arctic Ocean

Carrizo, D., Sobek, A., Salvador, J. A., Gustafsson, O. 2017. Spatial Distributions of DDTs in the Water Masses of the Arctic Ocean. Environmental Science and Technology 51, 14, 7913-7919 DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.7b01369

There is a scarcity of data on the amount and distribution of the organochlorine pesticide dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) and its metabolites in intermediate and deep ocean water masses. Here, the distribution and inventories of DDTs in water of the Arctic shelf seas and the interior basin are presented. The occurrence of Sigma 6DDT (0.10-66 pg L-1) in the surface water was dominated by 4,4′-DDE. In the Central Arctic Ocean increasing concentrations of DDE with depth were observed in the Makarov and Amundsen basins. The increasing concentrations down to 2500 m depth is in accordance with previous findings for PCBs and PBDEs. Similar concentrations of DDT and DDEs were found in the surface water, while the relative contribution of DDEs increased with depth, demonstrating a transformation over time and depth. Higher concentrations of DDTs were found in the European part of the Arctic Ocean; these distributions likely reflect a combination of different usage patterns, transport, and fate of these compounds. For instance, the elevated concentrations of DDTs in the Barents and Atlantic sectors of the Arctic Ocean indicate the northbound Atlantic current as a significant conveyor of DDTs. This study contributes to the very rare data on OCPs in the vast deep-water compartments and combined with surface water distribution across the Arctic Ocean helps to improve our understanding of the large-scale fate of DDTs in the Arctic.

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