International Journal of Environmental Science and Technology, 2023 (SCI-Expanded)
Although Antarctica is thought to be the most isolated and pristine continent free from human disturbance, the detrimental impacts of human-induced activities are inevitable even on this continent. This study presents the status of metal distribution in rock/soil and seaweed/moss samples taken from the Horseshoe and Faure Islands during the 4th Turkish National Antarctic Expedition. The rock/soil and seaweed/moss samples collected were subjected to microwave-assisted acid digestion sample preparation procedure and analyzed by inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry and inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry to determine their metal contents. The analytical methods were validated using different standard reference materials (Apple Leaves, Tomato Leaves and Montana Soil II). A good agreement between the certified and determined values verified the suitability of the developed analytical methods for the determination of the selected elements in the samples. Validated analytical methods with adequate sensitivity, accuracy and precision were used for the quantification of 35 elements (Li, Al, V, Ti, Mn, Fe, Cr, Ni, Cu, Co, Zn, As, Sr, Mo, Zr, Se, Pd, Ru, Ag, Rh, Cd, Sn, Te, Sb, La, Ba, Ce, Pb, Tl, Bi, Na, Mg, Ca, K and B) in the collected samples. The concentration level of Mn was found to be the lowest, and contrarily Fe presented the highest concentration level for the rock/soil samples among the major elements. Heavy metals (As, Cd and Pb) which are considered to be the main source of inorganic pollution in the region were detected in most of the samples for both sample groups.