Academic Article


  • 2023

Due to the analytical challenges of detecting and quantifying nanoparticles in seawater, the data on distributions of NPs in the marine environment is limited to qualitative studies or by ensemble measurements subject to various analytical artifacts. Single particle inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (SP-ICP-MS) allows determination of individual inorganic NPs at environmentally relevant concentrations, yet only few studies have been conducted on selected elements in surface sea water. Here, a sequential multi-element screening method was developed and implemented to provide a first survey of the horizontal and vertical distributions of inorganic nanoparticles and trace elements in a pristine Norwegian fjord prospect for submarine tailings deposition. Statistical control of false-positive detections while minimizing the size detection limit was ensured using a novel raw signal processing. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS) gave confirmative and qualitative information regarding particle morphology and composition. Following SP-ICP-MS screening for particles of 16 elements, particulate Al, Fe, Mn, Pb, Si and Ti were found and determined to mass concentrations in ng/L of 1–399, 1–412, below limit of detection (<LOD) - 269, <LOD - 1, <LOD - 1981 and <LOD - 127 ng/L with particle number concentrations up to 108 particles per liter. Total...

Bruvold, Are Sæle; Bienfait, André Marcel; Ervik, Torunn Kringlen; Loeschner, Katrin; Valdersnes, Stig
Marine Environmental Research 188
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