The 2017 MIME assessment describes the trends and status of contaminant concentrations in biota and sediment at monitoring stations in the OSPAR area. Assessments are made for a large number of time series, each of a single contaminant in a single species (for biota) at a single monitoring station. This document is one of a series that synthesises the results of the individual time series to assess status and trends at the MIME regional level. In particular, it considers metal concentrations in sediment, where the metals are HG, CD, PB. For simplicity, the term â€˜regionâ€™ is used throughout to describe MIME regions. OSPAR regions are always referred to as such.

The following sections:

- summarise the individual time series results
- describe the methods used to combine the individual time series results to estimate regional trends and status
- present the estimates of regional trends
- present the estimates of regional status

A time series of metal concentrations is assessed for status if:

- there is at least one year with data in the period 2010 to 2015
- there are at least three years of data over the whole time series
- a parametric model can be fitted to the data and used to estimate the mean concentration in the final monitoring year (or, occasionally, if a non-parametric test of status is applied)

The conditions are more stringent for trends. Specifically, a time series is assessed for trends if:

- there is at least one year with data in the period 2010 to 2015
- there are at least five years of data over the whole time series
- a parametric model can be fitted to the data and used to estimate the trend in mean concentrations

Note that all trend assessments for individual time series and most status assessments are based on the fit of a parametric model. This is important because only the parametric results are passed into the regional assessments in the following sections. Only 11 of 479 metal time series were assessed for status using a non-parametric test.

The first tab below shows all the monitoring stations where there are individual time series assessments of trend or status for metals. The magenta circles are stations where there is a trend assessment for at least one metal, and the cyan cirles are stations where there are only status assessments.

The next set of tabs show the trend and status assessments for each metal in turn. The colours have the following meaning:

- blue: the mean concentration is significantly (p < 0.05) below the Background Assessment Concentration (BAC)
- green: the mean concentration is significantly (p < 0.05) below the Effects Range Low (ERL)
- red: the mean concentration is not signficantly below the Effects Range Low (ERL)

And the shapes have the following meaning:

- downward triangle: the mean concentration is significantly decreasing (p < 0.05)
- circle: there is no significant change in mean concentration (p > 0.05)
- upward triangle: the mean concentration is significantly increasing (p < 0.05)

The final set of tabs give:

- the number of time series with upwards, downwards or no trend in each MiME and OSPAR region
- the same information presented as proportions
- the number of time series with blue, green, or red status in each MIME and OSPAR region
- the same information presented as proportions

Number of time series with upwards, downwards or no trend by MIME and OSPAR region

OSPAR region | MIME region | status | HG | CD | PB | total |
---|---|---|---|---|---|---|

2 | Northern North Sea | upward trend | 0 | 0 | 0 | 0 |

no trend | 16 | 12 | 20 | 48 | ||

downward trend | 3 | 3 | 2 | 8 | ||

Southern North Sea | upward trend | 0 | 0 | 1 | 1 | |

no trend | 25 | 30 | 42 | 97 | ||

downward trend | 23 | 17 | 13 | 53 | ||

Channel | upward trend | 0 | 0 | 1 | 1 | |

no trend | 4 | 4 | 4 | 12 | ||

downward trend | 1 | 0 | 0 | 1 | ||

total | upward trend | 0 | 0 | 2 | 2 | |

no trend | 45 | 46 | 66 | 157 | ||

downward trend | 27 | 20 | 15 | 62 | ||

3 | Irish and Scottish West Coast | upward trend | 0 | 1 | 0 | 1 |

no trend | 6 | 5 | 5 | 16 | ||

downward trend | 1 | 0 | 2 | 3 | ||

Irish Sea | upward trend | 0 | 2 | 1 | 3 | |

no trend | 11 | 8 | 12 | 31 | ||

downward trend | 6 | 2 | 4 | 12 | ||

Celtic Sea | upward trend | 0 | 1 | 1 | 2 | |

no trend | 2 | 1 | 0 | 3 | ||

downward trend | 0 | 0 | 1 | 1 | ||

total | upward trend | 0 | 4 | 2 | 6 | |

no trend | 19 | 14 | 17 | 50 | ||

downward trend | 7 | 2 | 7 | 16 | ||

4 | Iberian Sea | upward trend | 1 | 0 | 0 | 1 |

no trend | 13 | 13 | 12 | 38 | ||

downward trend | 1 | 2 | 3 | 6 | ||

Gulf of Cadiz | upward trend | 0 | 1 | 1 | 2 | |

no trend | 8 | 13 | 13 | 34 | ||

downward trend | 6 | 0 | 0 | 6 | ||

total | upward trend | 1 | 1 | 1 | 3 | |

no trend | 21 | 26 | 25 | 72 | ||

downward trend | 7 | 2 | 3 | 12 |

Proportion of time series with upwards, downwards or no trend by MIME and OSPAR region

OSPAR region | MIME region | status | HG | CD | PB | total |
---|---|---|---|---|---|---|

2 | Northern North Sea | upward trend | 0 | 0 | 0 | 0 |

no trend | 84 | 80 | 91 | 86 | ||

downward trend | 16 | 20 | 9 | 14 | ||

Southern North Sea | upward trend | 0 | 0 | 2 | 1 | |

no trend | 52 | 64 | 75 | 64 | ||

downward trend | 48 | 36 | 23 | 35 | ||

Channel | upward trend | 0 | 0 | 20 | 7 | |

no trend | 80 | 100 | 80 | 86 | ||

downward trend | 20 | 0 | 0 | 7 | ||

total | upward trend | 0 | 0 | 2 | 1 | |

no trend | 62 | 70 | 80 | 71 | ||

downward trend | 38 | 30 | 18 | 28 | ||

3 | Irish and Scottish West Coast | upward trend | 0 | 17 | 0 | 5 |

no trend | 86 | 83 | 71 | 80 | ||

downward trend | 14 | 0 | 29 | 15 | ||

Irish Sea | upward trend | 0 | 16 | 6 | 7 | |

no trend | 65 | 67 | 71 | 67 | ||

downward trend | 35 | 17 | 23 | 26 | ||

Celtic Sea | upward trend | 0 | 50 | 50 | 33 | |

no trend | 100 | 50 | 0 | 50 | ||

downward trend | 0 | 0 | 50 | 17 | ||

total | upward trend | 0 | 20 | 8 | 8 | |

no trend | 73 | 70 | 65 | 70 | ||

downward trend | 27 | 10 | 27 | 22 | ||

4 | Iberian Sea | upward trend | 7 | 0 | 0 | 2 |

no trend | 86 | 87 | 80 | 85 | ||

downward trend | 7 | 13 | 20 | 13 | ||

Gulf of Cadiz | upward trend | 0 | 7 | 7 | 5 | |

no trend | 57 | 93 | 93 | 81 | ||

downward trend | 43 | 0 | 0 | 14 | ||

total | upward trend | 4 | 3 | 4 | 3 | |

no trend | 72 | 90 | 86 | 83 | ||

downward trend | 24 | 7 | 10 | 14 |

Number of time series with each status by MIME and OSPAR region

OSPAR region | MIME region | status | HG | CD | PB | total |
---|---|---|---|---|---|---|

2 | Northern North Sea | blue | 11 | 15 | 12 | 38 |

green | 3 | 9 | 2 | 14 | ||

red | 10 | 1 | 11 | 22 | ||

Southern North Sea | blue | 2 | 6 | 1 | 9 | |

green | 11 | 53 | 3 | 67 | ||

red | 50 | 5 | 61 | 116 | ||

Channel | blue | 0 | 1 | 0 | 1 | |

green | 2 | 8 | 1 | 11 | ||

red | 13 | 5 | 14 | 32 | ||

total | blue | 13 | 22 | 13 | 48 | |

green | 16 | 70 | 6 | 92 | ||

red | 73 | 11 | 86 | 170 | ||

3 | Irish and Scottish West Coast | blue | 5 | 6 | 5 | 16 |

green | 2 | 1 | 1 | 4 | ||

red | 1 | 1 | 1 | 3 | ||

Irish Sea | blue | 4 | 13 | 5 | 22 | |

green | 6 | 4 | 2 | 12 | ||

red | 7 | 1 | 11 | 19 | ||

Celtic Sea | blue | 0 | 0 | 0 | 0 | |

green | 1 | 2 | 1 | 4 | ||

red | 1 | 0 | 1 | 2 | ||

total | blue | 9 | 19 | 10 | 38 | |

green | 9 | 7 | 4 | 20 | ||

red | 9 | 2 | 13 | 24 | ||

4 | Iberian Sea | blue | 0 | 0 | 0 | 0 |

green | 0 | 14 | 0 | 14 | ||

red | 15 | 1 | 15 | 31 | ||

Gulf of Cadiz | blue | 0 | 3 | 1 | 4 | |

green | 8 | 11 | 1 | 20 | ||

red | 6 | 0 | 12 | 18 | ||

total | blue | 0 | 3 | 1 | 4 | |

green | 8 | 25 | 1 | 34 | ||

red | 21 | 1 | 27 | 49 |

Proportion of time series with each status by MIME and OSPAR region

OSPAR region | MIME region | status | HG | CD | PB | total |
---|---|---|---|---|---|---|

2 | Northern North Sea | blue | 46 | 60 | 48 | 51 |

green | 12 | 36 | 8 | 19 | ||

red | 42 | 4 | 44 | 30 | ||

Southern North Sea | blue | 3 | 9 | 1 | 5 | |

green | 18 | 83 | 5 | 35 | ||

red | 79 | 8 | 94 | 60 | ||

Channel | blue | 0 | 7 | 0 | 2 | |

green | 13 | 57 | 7 | 25 | ||

red | 87 | 36 | 93 | 73 | ||

total | blue | 13 | 21 | 12 | 15 | |

green | 16 | 68 | 6 | 30 | ||

red | 71 | 11 | 82 | 55 | ||

3 | Irish and Scottish West Coast | blue | 63 | 75 | 72 | 70 |

green | 25 | 13 | 14 | 17 | ||

red | 12 | 12 | 14 | 13 | ||

Irish Sea | blue | 24 | 72 | 28 | 41 | |

green | 35 | 22 | 11 | 23 | ||

red | 41 | 6 | 61 | 36 | ||

Celtic Sea | blue | 0 | 0 | 0 | 0 | |

green | 50 | 100 | 50 | 67 | ||

red | 50 | 0 | 50 | 33 | ||

total | blue | 34 | 68 | 37 | 46 | |

green | 33 | 25 | 15 | 25 | ||

red | 33 | 7 | 48 | 29 | ||

4 | Iberian Sea | blue | 0 | 0 | 0 | 0 |

green | 0 | 93 | 0 | 31 | ||

red | 100 | 7 | 100 | 69 | ||

Gulf of Cadiz | blue | 0 | 21 | 7 | 9 | |

green | 57 | 79 | 7 | 48 | ||

red | 43 | 0 | 86 | 43 | ||

total | blue | 0 | 10 | 4 | 5 | |

green | 28 | 86 | 3 | 39 | ||

red | 72 | 4 | 93 | 56 |

Tabulating the number of time series with each status category by region provides a quick summary of the individual time series results. However, it does not provide an objective regional assessment of status. Similarly, tabulating the number of time series with an upward or downward trend does not provide an objective regional assessment of trend. This section describes how the individual time series results can by synthesised in a meta-analysis to assess both status and trend at the regional level.

For a regional trend assessment, the trend in each time series is summarised by the estimated change in log concentration over the last twenty years (or shorter if the time series doesnâ€™t extend that far back). Regional trends are then estimated by fitting the following linear mixed model by restricted maximum likelihood:

- response: trend (yearly change in log concentration)
- fixed model: region * metal
- random model: station + trend estimation variation + residual variation

The fixed model means that a separate regional trend is estimated for each metal. The random model has three terms:

- station allows for variation in trend between stations common to all metals
- trend estimation variation is the variance of the trend estimates from the individual time series analysis, assumed known and fixed
- residual variation is the variation that cannot be explained by any of the fixed effects or the other random effects

The meta-analysis is restricted to time series from monitoring stations that are classified as â€˜representativeâ€™. â€˜Baselineâ€™ stations (those with near pristine conditions or only subject to very diffuse inputs) are omitted because any trends there will likely be caused by different processes to those at representative stations. Similarly â€˜impactedâ€™ stations (those close to a point source) are omitted because trends there will likely reflect changes due to the point source, and will be â€˜unrepresentativeâ€™ at the regional level.

The meta-analysis is further restricted to regions and metal combinations with at least three trend stations with good geographic spread. Three stations is considered the minimum required to provide some sort of evidence base at the regional level.

For a regional status assessment, the status of each time series is summarised by the difference between the estimated mean log concentration in the final monitoring year and the log assessment concentration. This ensures that status is always measured on the same scale, even though the assessment criterion might vary between metals and time series. Essentially the same linear mixed model as for trends is then fitted:

- response: status (mean log concentration - log assessment concentration)
- fixed model: region * metal
- random model: station + status estimation variation + residual variation

where status estimation variation is the variation in the status estimates from the individual time series analysis, assumed known and fixed.

There are no restrictions on the time series used in the status meta-analysis based on the classification of the monitoring station; time series from baseline, representative and impacted stations are all included. However, the few time series with a non-parametric assessment of status must be excluded, because there is no summary measure of status to use in the mixed model.

Again, the meta-analysis is restricted to regions and metal combinations with at least three status stations with good geographic spread.

The results of both the trend and status regional assessments are back-transformed for presentation. The estimated regional trend is then interpreted as the percentage yearly change in concentration and the estimated regional status as the ratio of the mean regional concentration to the assessment concentration. To illustrate the latter, a value of 1 indicates that the mean regional concentration is equal to the assessment concentration; a value of 0.5 indicates that it is half the assessment concentration, and a value of 2 indicates that it is twice the assessment concentration.

This section provides more detail on the number and geographic spread of the time series available for the meta-analyses. The tabs show the stations with parametric trend and status assessments for each OSPAR region in turn, having excluded trend assessments at baseline and impacted stations. The magenta circles are stations where there is a trend assessment for at least one metal, and the cyan cirles are stations where there are only status assessments.

The following regions have an insufficient number or time series or spread of stations and are excluded from the regional assessment:

- trend: Celtic Sea
- status: Celtic Sea, Iberian Sea

The first 3 tabs show:

- Regional trends by metal: regional trend estimates with pointwise 95% confidence limits by metal
- Regional trends by region: regional trend estimates with pointwise 95% confidence limits by region
- Individual time series: the trend estimates from the individual time series on which the regional assessment is based. The estimates from regions with insufficient geographic spread (and excluded from the meta-analysis) are also shown.

The symbols in all these plots have the following interpretation:

- downward triangle: the mean concentration is significantly decreasing (p < 0.05)
- circle: there is no change in mean concentration (p > 0.05)
- upward triangle: the mean concentration is significantly increasing (p < 0.05)

The final tab show the estimates of the regional trend by metal.