Published online by Cambridge University Press: 16 October 2003
Clean-up sites in cold climates present unique challenges for the analytical chemist, primarily because of transportation constraints and limited infrastructure. Excavation of chemically contaminated soils and dumps requires a quick turnaround for analytical results. This is mainly due to the cost factors involved in having expensive heavy equipment idle and the short working seasons, but also because of melting of exposed permafrost during excavation. Three options are available for conducting analyses at remote polar sites. These are off-site determinations, the use of on-site test kits (or simple procedures), and the deployment of a mobile laboratory. This paper discusses these options and provides details of available on-site techniques as well as specific examples of their application in remote northern sites. The design and operation of a mobile laboratory at Resolution Island, Nunavut, is described, and available test kits are compiled and reviewed.