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Monitoring the pollution status of the Inner Oslofjord 2013 - Appendix Report

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John A Berge, Rita Amundsen, Tage Bratrud, Nicolai Bølling, Espen Erdahl, Janne Kim Gitmark, Hege Gundersen, Christopher Hinchcliffe, Tor Fredrik Holth, Sigrid Haande, Ketil Hylland, Torbjørn Martin Johnsen, Tone Kroglund, Anna Birgitta Ledang, Marit Norli, Evy Rigmor Lømsland, Andre Staalstrøm, Cathrine Wisbech, Raoul Wolf


This report presents results from monitoring performed in the Inner Oslo fjord in 2013 for the municipalities surrounding the fjord. A shorter version of the report in Norwegian can be found in NIVA report no. 6697. The monitoring was conducted by Norwegian Institute for Water Research (NIVA) in cooperation with the University of Oslo (UiO). The monitoring includes physical, chemical and biological conditions in the fjord. The Inner Oslofjord is a relatively enclosed area. Discharges to the fjord will potentially cause eutrophication and elevated levels of contaminants. Such influences are still relevant because the area around the Oslofjord is expected to have a significant population increase in the future with the increased inputs that follows. The capacity of existing plants for treating municipal wastewater is also near their upper limit, and requires major expansion to meet future wastewater challenges. The local nutrient inputs to the Oslofjord has been significantly reduced since the mid -1970s to 2003, but has since increased until 2007. Subsequently, the values remained virtually unchanged. The environment conditions in the fjord has been constantly improving as a consequence of wastewater remediation, reduced discharges and measures to reduce discharges of untreated sewage from overflows. The reduced discharges have over time resulted in lower nutrient concentrations in the fjord. Concentrations of phosphorus and nitrogen in the surface layer showed a decrease from the beginning of the 1980s. For phosphorus, there was a minimum in 1999, after which the concentration increased slightly until 2003. From 2003 until 2013 the concentration has decreased slightly, but with concentrations higher than in 1999. For nitrogen a minimum was observed in 2011, but the concentration increased slightly the two subsequent years. A significant deep water renewal took place in winter 2012/2013. This stopped the development of hydrogen sulfide in the bottom water in Bunnefjorden. Overall, approximately 106% of the water between 20 m and the bottom was renewed in the Inner Oslofjord between August 2012 and April 2013. The oxygen conditions in the Bunnefjorden has improved since 2001, roughly coinciding in time with when the discharge point from the Bekkelaget treatment plant was moved from 20 to 50 m depth. An improvement in the oxygen situation has also been observed in the West fjord since 2001 at depths greater than 20m. Although it is too early to conclude, it seems as if the deep water discharge in in the basin at Bekkelaget has also led to an improvement in parts of the water column in the Bunnefjord. Changes in oxygen conditions in the deeper parts of Bunnefjorden is however still primarily a result of natural variations in the length of time that passes between 2 consecutive deep water renewals. Mean secchi-depth in 2013 was at the same level as the mean for the years 2002-2010. The results show that the surface layer in the fjord has become successively less murky during the past four decades. The total algal biomass integrated over the year was in 2013 approx. 10 % lower than the previous two years, while the amount of chlorophyll in 2013 was about the same as the average for the period 2002-2010. Many shrimps where observed in the Inner Oslofjord in 2013 except for one station (Vesthullet). Shrimp was also observed in Bunnefjorden at Hellviktangen as a result of a significant deep water renewal in the area during the winter 2013 that secured favorable conditions for shrimp. There was also an unusual high number of species compared to earlier at Hellvik in the Bunnefjord and in the Lysakerfjord. The dominant shrimp species in 2013 was Crangon allmanni. Overall, there have been major changes in seaweed flora in the area since the late 1970s.