Glaciers are not only contributors to the sea level rise but also important players in the circulation of pollutants. Over a billion people apply glacial waters for domestic purposes; hence, both the quality and quantity of this water should be monitored. In this chapter, we concentrate on the archipelago Svalbard in the Arctic, a typical target area for xenobiotics from long range atmospheric transport (LRAT), holding an important share of the Arctic glacial ice cover. Literature review has been conducted over both the cryospheric metrics and the achievements of analytical chemistry in the environmental monitoring. Svalbard is a relatively well‐monitored part of the Arctic, with 17 glaciers regularly monitored for mass balance. In the chemical records of glaciers, a variety of substances have been determined, e.g., ions, heavy metals, or persistent organic pollutants (POPs), with the use of precise analytical techniques. However, knowledge gaps persist, preventing a formation of a reliable chemical inventory of Svalbard glaciers. Moreover, detailed studies on the deposition and transport of pollutants, rather than focusing on their presence only, are crucial future research recommendations.
Part of the book: Glacier Evolution in a Changing World