1) Develop internationally recognised calibration and QC/QA
procedures for analysis of shell material to ensure
compatibility with data obtained in other important studies.
Design and construction of suitable laser ablation cell for
these particular samples.
2) Scoping study, involving bulk dissolution and analysis of
portion of shells, to ensure cost effective execution of
main project. A representative number of samples (aprox.20)
will be chosen and the concentrations of key elements
(including Cu, Pb, Zn, Ni, Cr, As, Cd, Hg and Ti) determine,
in order to optimise acquisition conditions for laser
3) Compliation from literature and other workers, e.g. MAFF
and OSPAR, of data on trace element contamination in related
sediments and mussel tissue, together with available data
from shells of other species.
4) High resolution study to measure trace element variations
on a limited number of shells form contaminated and
background areas and thereby determine the optimum laser
sampling strategy for the rest of the project.
5) Using the optimum laser sampling strategy derived from
objective 4, determine the inter-shell variation in trace
element concentrations for a given location with respect to
6) Determine the variation in trace element concentrations,
with respect to time, from site to site (contaminated and
7) Statistical analysis (e.g. ANOVA) of the large data sets
obtained in objectives 4, 5 and 6. Comparision of results
with compilation obtained in objective 3 and thus relate the
metal concentrations in the shells to those in mussel and
related sediments. Compare changes in metal concentration
in shells with the implementation of environmental
8) Production of report for MAFF. Dissemination of results
through scientific presentations at conferences and
publications after MAFF approval.