Chemical transport occurs lateral and vertically. This project aims to study mobility and transportation of chemicals in Antarctica. Lateral transport of essential elements in an ecosystem is the definition of nutrient cycling. Nutrients are dynamic in the ecosystem; they travel from one trophic level to another. The faster the turnover time, the more productive the ecosystem is. In the tropics, ... photosynthesis converts carbon dioxide by using light energy from the sun to produce organic matter at the primary producer level while microbes are the main decomposers of derived organic chemicals back into inorganic elements and thus completing the nutrient cycle. The extreme conditions in Antarctica are not favorable to plants photosynthesis. Most of the primary producers are bound to the sea. The mechanisms to convey nutrients from the sea to the inland areas in Antarctica is not well defined. Hypothetically, birds play an important role as the conveyor. Digestive systems of the birds convert the organic matters back into inorganic nutrients for the terrestrial organisms during the short summer (Figure 1). Data obtained from this study shall enable the elaboration of the process in greater detail.
As for the vertical transport, there is a well-known hypothesis; the “grass hopping” effect for long range transport of chemicals. Hypothetically, chemicals may transport through a long distance through the “grass hopping” effect. In fact, the existence of pesticides in polar bears in the Arctic was attempted to be explained by using the “grass hopping” types of long range transport. However, there are missing gaps in the southern hemisphere. Hence, this project is undertaken to study the long range transport by using petroleum hydrocarbons as a model.