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From 1999 to 2003 a multipurpose regional geochemical mapping project, was carried out in Finland, and the NW-part of Russia. An important aim of the project is to define the anthropogenic impact in relation to the natural variations in regional geochemical baselines of heavy metals and other elements over a large area containing several of the largest industrial emitters in Europe but also some of its most pristine areas.
Terrestrial moss, the organic layer, stream waters, and the C-horizon soil samples were collected from1085 sites in Russia and 288 sites in Finland, giving an average density of one site per 1000 km2.
Both total and aqua regia extractable element concentrations were determined from
Maps showing the distribution of 48 elements and other parameters are included in this atlas. The anomaly patterns of minerogenic C-horizon data are strongly controlled by element distributions in the bedrock. Stream water data are mainly controlled by geological formations and structures both for major and trace elements, but in some cases the influence of anthropogenic activities could be detected as elevated heavy metal concentrations. Anomaly patterns from moss data reflect mainly anthropogenic activities, but in areas such as mountains and tundra the geogenic dust also has a strong influence. It was not possible to detect any long distance airborne transport of heavy metals from industrialized areas to clean arctic regions.