Global Atmospheric Passive Sampling (GAPS) Network

The GAPS Network is a key program for producing comparable global-scale data for persistent organic pollutants (POPs).  This program was initiated in December 2004 as a two-year pilot study before evolving into a network, and consists of more than 50 sites on seven continents.  Twelve sites are located in Canada and provide information on priority chemicals in the Canadian atmosphere.

The GAPS Network conducts measurements of POPs and priority chemicals in air with the following objectives:

  1. Demonstrate the feasibility of passive air samplers (PAS);


  2. Determine spatial and temporal trends in air;


  3. Screen for and identify new chemicals in air; and


  4. Contribute useful data for assessing regional and global long-range atmospheric transport.
Passive air sampler located at Temple Basin in Arthur's Pass, New Zealand.
Passive air samplers deployed at Temple Basin in Arthur's Pass, New Zealand.

 

Deployment of PAS worldwide over several years will allow for temporal trends to be established and thus, the effectiveness of control measures on chemicals to be evaluated.

A key aspect of the GAPS program is technology transfer and capacity building. Collaborations with numerous international groups through visitor exchange and/or partnerships have developed sampling capabilities and generated new global data for POPs and priority chemicals.

Passive air sampler located at Gosan on Jeju Island, Republic of Korea.
Passive air sampler located in the Bolivian Andes, 5200 metres at sea level.
Passive air samplers located at Gosan on Jeju Island, Republic of Korea.
Passive air samplers located in the Bolivian Andes, 5200 metres above sea level.