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Oceanic influence on atmospheric mercury at coastal and inland sites: a springtime noreaster in New England

By J. M. Sigler, H. Mao, B. C. Sive and R. Talbot


Continuous measurements of elemental (Hg<sup>0</sup>) and reactive mercury were conducted at two sites in New Hampshire during a powerful April 2007 noreaster. During the most intense period of the storm, enhancements of ~30–50 ppqv in Hg<sup>0</sup> were observed at a coastal and a high elevation inland site. This enhancement occurred simultaneously with elevated mixing ratios of three marine tracers, CH<sub>3</sub>I, CH<sub>2</sub>Br<sub>2</sub> and CHBr<sub>3</sub>. These observations suggest a marine source of Hg<sup>0</sup>, possibly outgassing from the ocean surface during strong turbulence. The Hg<sup>0</sup> enhancement observed 100 km inland suggests that the impact of coastal storms on terrestrial Hg cycling may not be limited to near-shore environments. Combining Hg<sup>0</sup> and marine tracer measurements during the storm with estimates of oceanic tracer fluxes during previous strong storms yields an order-of-magnitude estimate of the oceanic source of Hg<sup>0</sup> during the storm (~7 ppqv h<sup>−1</sup>) which can account for the observed enhancement at the field sites

Topics: Environmental sciences, GE1-350, Geography. Anthropology. Recreation, G, DOAJ:Environmental Sciences, DOAJ:Earth and Environmental Sciences, Physics, QC1-999, Chemistry, QD1-999
Publisher: Copernicus Publications
Year: 2009
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