Christian N. Albers, GEUS/CENPERM
Halogenated volatile organic compounds - formation in Arctic soils and emissions from soil to atmosphere
It is well established that halogenated organic compounds are formed naturally in the terrestrial environment. These compounds include volatiles such as trihalomethanes that may escape to the atmosphere. In deed most of the atmospheric chloroform (and other trihalomethane species) is regarded to have a natural origin. This origin may be both marine and terrestrial. Results from a study where we measured in situ the fluxes of chloroform from soil to atmosphere in 6 Subarctic and 5 Arctic areas covering different dwarf heath, wetland and forest biotopes in Greenland and Northern Sweden will be presented. Emissions were largest from the forested areas, but all areas emitted measurable amounts of chloroform. Also the brominated analog bromodichloromethane was formed in Arctic and Subarctic soils. No other volatile poly-halogenated organic compounds were found to be emitted from the study areas.
In the study we also tried to elucidate mechanisms for chloroform formation in soil and this work will be discussed as well. Finally we propose that competition for free halides may be high in Arctic and Subarctic soils, as more than 90% of soil chlorine and 99% of soil bromine and iodine was found to be organically bound.
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