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Microbial degradation is a key elimination pathway of hexachlorocyclohexanes from the Arctic Ocean
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2000 (English)In: Geophysical Research Letters, ISSN 0094-8276, E-ISSN 1944-8007, Vol. 27, no 8, p. 1155-1158Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Hexachlorocyclohexanes (HCHs) are the most abundant pesticides in arctic air and water. We have calculated in situ microbial degradation rates of alpha- and gamma-HCH for the Arctic Ocean using enantiomer ratio (ER) data and concentrations in water at the surface and after it has subducted to depth. The ERs of alpha-HCH, which provide the first direct evidence of microbial degradation, allow rates to be estimated. The half-lives due to microbial activity for (+)-alpha-HCH, (-)-alpha-HCH and gamma-HCH (respectively 5.9 +/- 1.2, 22.8 +/- 4.7 and 18.8 +/- 10.1 years) are 3-10 times faster than removal by the only other known breakdown mechanism, hydrolysis (Harner et al., 1999). Microbial degradation is highlighted as an important elimination process in a revised HCH loss budget for the Arctic Ocean, removing 204 t y(-1), alpha-HCH and 23 t y(-1), gamma-HCH. These tonnages represent 29-37% of the annual HCH removal from the Arctic Ocean.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2000. Vol. 27, no 8, p. 1155-1158
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Natural Sciences
Research subject
SWEDARCTIC 1996, Arctic Ocean 1996
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URN: urn:nbn:se:polar:diva-3298DOI: 10.1029/1999GL011326OAI: oai:DiVA.org:polar-3298DiVA, id: diva2:1052912
Available from: 2016-12-07 Created: 2016-12-07 Last updated: 2017-11-29

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