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Metal concentrations in biota

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    The Marine Environment Monitoring and Assessment National database (MERMAN) is a national database which holds and provides access to data collected under the Clean Safe Seas Environmental Monitoring Programme (CSEMP) formerly the National Marine Monitoring Programme (NMMP). The data collected are the responsibility of the Competent Monitoring Authorities (CMAs) who collect the samples from stations in UK waters using water sampling techniques, trawls, nets or grabs. The CMAs then send the collected samples to accredited laboratories where they are analysed. A weighting is calculated, based on the quality of the analysis. The weighting score incorporates the laboratory accreditation, reference material, inter-laboratory comparisons, detection limits, uncertainties and standard deviations. Where data do not meet a threshold score they are given a status of ‘FAIL’ and although they are stored they are not made available to external users. The contaminants and biological effects in biota data start in 1987 with greater use of the database occurring from 1997 onwards. Data are submitted by the CMAs annually and an annual submission may include updates to legacy data to provide additional data or improve data/metadata. The data held in MERMAN fulfils the UK's mandatory monitoring requirements under the Oslo and Paris Convention (OSPAR) Joint Assessments and Monitoring Programme (JAMP). These data are used in support of European Commission (EC) directives and national assessments, such as Charting Progress 2 and are also supplied to the European Marine Observation and Data Network (EMODNET).

  • This report is a contribution to the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA6) conducted by the Department of Trade and Industry (now Department of Energy and Climate Change). This report considers the major sources of contamination to the Irish Sea from offshore energy installations and puts them in the context of other sources of contamination to the region. The report also considers contamination of the wider environment, making use of data provided by monitoring programmes and other specific studies. The oil and gas industry in the Irish Sea is small by comparison to that of the North Sea, but bears comparison to that of the Southern North Sea which is dominated by gas production and for which many of the platforms are in relatively shallow water. The discharge of production and drilling chemicals, residual oil and compounds derived from the formation water co-produced with the oil or gas contribute to the contamination concentration in sediments and water. However, in Liverpool Bay and Morecambe Bay, where the oil and gas fields are located, the riverine inputs of major groups of organic contaminants and metals are found to be several orders of magnitude greater than those from the offshore oil and gas industry. Inputs of artificial radionuclides into the Irish Sea are dominated by discharges from Sellafield on the Cumbrian coast. The distribution of radionuclides in seawater, in the sediment and in biota are reviewed.

  • This report is a contribution to the Department of Trade and Industry's (now Department of Energy and Climate Change) Strategic Environment Assessment SEA2 for the North Sea. It draws on a wide range of data sources to provide an overview of the chemicals used in the offshore oil and gas industry, of the chemicals already in the environment and of those released into the environment from other sources. Considering the whole sea area, it should be noted that the water samples with the highest levels of chemical contamination are found at inshore estuary and coastal sites subject to high industrial usage. Approximately 2,000 chemical products are used by the offshore oil and gas industry. In 1999 some 180,000 tonnes of chemicals were discharged into the UK sector of the North Sea. Produced water is now the main source of contaminants, having overtaken drill cuttings since oil-based muds were replaced by less harmful alternatives. 24,286 tonnes of chemicals were reported as discharged to the UKCS in produced water in 1999. As oilfields mature, the amount of produced water increases. The range of chemicals used by the offshore oil and gas industry, the means of regulating them and of monitoring their use, are discussed. Evidence of biological effects caused by the release of contaminants into the sea is reviewed.

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    The dataset contains a diverse range of environmental data ranging from estuary properties including geomorphology, water depth and habitat characterisation to detailed time series of parameters such as salinity and chemical and nutrient concentrations. The data are stored in a database containing a directory of existing data sources for estuaries; data for the broad properties of 79 UK estuaries; and detailed hydrodynamic, bathymetric, and sedimentary information for six estuaries: Blackwater, Humber, Mersey, Ribble, Southampton Water and Tamar. The data range from 1965 to 2002 and include both historic datasets and those collected during a recent effort (1997-2002) to enhance our knowledge of estuaries. Data collection employed a variety of instrumentation and techniques, including water, biota and sediment sample collection and analysis and the deployment of hydrographic instruments such as sea level, temperature, salinity and optical backscatter recorders. The Estuaries Research Programme (ERP) began in 1997 with the EMPHASYS project, which aimed to improve our understanding of processes operating in estuaries and use this knowledge to enhance broad scale modelling techniques that can be applied to estuarine processes. This work was funded by the Environment Agency/Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) Flood and Coastal Defence Research and Development Programme. The data are managed by the British Oceanographic Data Centre (BODC) and are available on CD-ROM.

  • Categories  

    The Marine Environment Monitoring and Assessment National database (MERMAN) is a national database which holds and provides access to data collected under the Clean Safe Seas Environmental Monitoring Programme (CSEMP) formerly the National Marine Monitoring Programme (NMMP). The data collected are the responsibility of the Competent Monitoring Authorities (CMAs) who collect the samples from stations in UK waters using water sampling techniques, trawls, nets or grabs. The CMAs then send the collected samples to accredited laboratories where they are analysed. A weighting is calculated, based on the quality of the analysis. The weighting score incorporates the laboratory accreditation, reference material, inter-laboratory comparisons, detection limits, uncertainties and standard deviations. Where data do not meet a threshold score they are given a status of ‘FAIL’ and although they are stored they are not made available to external users. The MERMAN dataset starts in 1987 with greater use of the database occurring from 1997 onwards. Data are submitted by the CMAs annually and an annual submission may include updates to legacy data to provide additional data or improve data/metadata. The data held in MERMAN fulfils the UK's mandatory monitoring requirements under the Oslo and Paris Convention (OSPAR) Joint Assessments and Monitoring Programme (JAMP). These data are used in support of European Commission (EC) directives and national assessments, such as Charting Progress 2 and are also supplied to the European Marine Observation and Data Network (EMODNET).

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    This dataset includes physical, biological and biogeochemical measurements of both the water column and seabed sediments. Hydrographic data include temperature, salinity, attenuance, dissolved oxygen, fluorescence, photosynthetically active radiation (PAR), sound velocity and current velocities, while biogeochemical analyses of water samples provided measurements of nutrients and biological sampling provided measurements of zooplankton abundance. A large number of benthic parameters were measured, including concentrations of substances such as nutrients, metals and carbon in both sediments and sediment pore waters. Benthic fauna were also studied, while rates of sedimentation flux were quantified. These oceanographic and benthic data were supplemented by satellite ocean colour imagery. The data were collected in the North Atlantic Ocean at the Mouth of Rockall Trough, Hatton-Rockall Basin and the Flank of Feni Drift between August 1997 and June 1999 over four cruises, comprising a preliminary site assessment (CD 107 August, 1997) followed by two process cruises (CD 111, April-May 1998, and CD 113, June-July 1998). A further cruise (CH 143) was part-funded by BENBO to retrieve moorings. The data were collected using a variety of instrumentation, including shipboard deployment of conductivity-temperature-depth (CTD) profilers with attached auxiliary sensors, benthic samplers, landers, cameras and incubation chambers, water samplers and continuous underway sensors. These were supplemented by moored sensor and satellite data. The BENBO programme was led by the Scottish Association for Marine Science/Dunstaffnage Marine Laboratory involved researchers from Southampton Oceanography Centre, Scottish Universities Research and Reactor Centre, Plymouth Marine Laboratory, Lancaster University, Leeds University, Edinburgh University, Cambridge University and the University of Wales, Bangor.