The concentrations of major, minor and trace metals were measured in water samples collected from five shallow Antarctic lakes (Carezza, Edmonson Point (No 14 and 15a), Inexpressible Island and Tarn Flat) found in Terra Nova Bay (northern Victoria Land, Antarctica) during the Italian Expeditions of 1993-2001. The total concentrations of a large suite of elements (Al, As, Ba, Ca, Cd, Ce, Co, Cr, Cs, Cu, Fe, Ga, Gd, K, La, Li, Mg, Mn, Mo, Na, Nd, Ni, Pb, Pr, Rb, Sc, Si, Sr, Ta, Ti, U, V, Y, W, Zn and Zr) were determined using spectroscopic techniques (ICP-AES, GF-AAS and ICP-MS). The results are similar to those obtained for the freshwater lakes of the Larsemann Hills, East Antarctica, and for the McMurdo Dry Valleys. Principal Component Analysis (PCA) and Cluster Analysis (CA) were performed to identify groups of samples with similar characteristics and to find correlations between the variables. The variability observed within the water samples is closely connected to the sea spray input; hence, it is primarily a consequence of geographical and meteorological factors, such as distance from the ocean and time of year. The trace element levels, in particular those of heavy metals, are very low, suggesting an origin from natural sources rather than from anthropogenic contamination.
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