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Atmospheric Mercury in the Lake Michigan Basin: Influence of the Chicago/Gary Urban Area

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Abstract: The relative importance of the Chicago/Gay urban area was investigated to determine its impact on atmospheric mercury (Hg) concentrations and wet deposition in the Lake Michigan basin. Event wet-only precipitation, total particulate, and vapor phase samples were collected for Hg and trace element determinations from five sites around Lake Michigan from July 1994 through October 1995 as part of the Lake Michigan Mass Balance Study (LMMBS). In addition, intensive over-water measurements were conducted aboard the EPA research vessel Lake Guardian during the summer of 1994 and the winter of 1995 as part of the Atmospheric Exchange Over Lakes and Oceans Study. Atmospheric Hg concentrations were found to be significantly higher in the Chicago/Gary urban area than surrounding sites: Hg in precipitation was a factor of two and particulate Hg was a factor of six times higher. Over-water measurements found elevated Hg concentrations 19 km off shore of Chicago/Gary suggesting an enhanced near field atmospheric deposition to Lake Michigan. Meteorological transport analyses also determined that local sources in the Chicago/Gary urban area significantly impacted all of the LMMBS sites indicating a broad impact to the entire Lake Michigan basin.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency through its Office of Research and Development (Cooperative Agreement CR820909-01) and its Great Lakes National Program Office (Grant GL995569-01) funded the research described here under to the University of Michigan Air Quality Laboratory (UMAQL). It has been subjected to Agency review and approved for publication. Mention of trade names or commercial products does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation for use.
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Citation:Landis, M. S., A. F. Vette, and G. J. Keeler. Atmospheric Mercury in the Lake Michigan Basin: Influence of the Chicago/Gary Urban Area. ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY 36(21):4508-4517, (2002).
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Contact: Liz Hope - (919) 541-2785 or hope.elizabeth@epa.gov
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Division: Human Exposure & Atmospheric Sciences Division
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Branch: Source Apportionment & Characterization Branch
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Product Type: Journal
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Published: 07/30/2002
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Related Entries:
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Bullet Item Atmospheric Mercury Research
spacer Relationship Reason:   A Project of the Product
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