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SSF-Svalbard Science Forum

PassNet: Establishing an aquatic passive sampling network for the Svalbard

Awarded: NOK 0.40 mill.

Project Number:


Project Period:

2016 - 2017

Funding received from:


Partner countries:

Passive sampling is a robust monitoring tool for trace contaminants in aquatic environment that has real potential for implementation worldwide. The present project aims to create a network for aquatic passive sampling specifically focused on the Svalbard region. In a first instance, the objective will be to organise a workshop to bring relevant actors and stakeholders together to promote collaboration and coordination of such a network, discussion of sampling location selection, harmonised procedures and operation, training and of plans to secure long-term funding for such a network. In a second step, we propose to conduct a pilot test of deployment at selected sites across the Svalbard. The objective of this study will be to assess the robustness of the network organisation and identify strengths and weaknesses of the proposed framework for future long-term management of such a network. The Svalbard is a sensitive environment/ecosystem that will be increasingly under the impact from climate change (e.g. through ice and glacier melt) and an increase in human activity in the Arctic in general (including shipping, tourism, oil and gas industry). With these challenges in mind, the creation of a passive sampling network would enable us to track changes in levels and emission of trace contaminants in the Svalbard as a result of climate change and changes in human activity. This project by its nature fulfils SSF strategic objectives of increased scientific collaboration within Svalbard research and increased coordination of activities with input from international experts. In addition, a global atmospheric passive sampling network (GAPS) was successfully established a decade ago. We believe that aquatic passive sampling is now sufficiently robust that a global application of this monitoring technique is possible. Data from such a network can contribute significantly to AMAP assessment of contaminant levels in the Arctic.

Funding scheme:

SSF-Svalbard Science Forum