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Intensive Atmospheric Mercury Measurements at Terra Nova Bay in Antarctica During November and December 2000

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Abstract: It is well known that due to its long atmospheric residence time, mercury is distributed on a global scale and aeolian transport is believed to be the major contributor to mercury in polar environments. No measurements of reactive gaseous mercury (RGM) at all have ever been performed in the Antarctic before. Hg0(g) concentrations were in the range 0.29 to 2.3 ng m-3, with an average value of 0.9 plus/minus0.3 ng m-3. RGM was measured using KCl-coated annular denuders and a speciation unit coupled to a TGM analyzer; concentrations ranged from 10.5 to 334 pg m-3, with an average of 116.2 plus/minus 77.8 pg m-3. The Hg0(g) measurements are in good agreement with the few data available for such southerly latitudes. The RGM concentrations are as high as those found in some industrial environments; the high concentrations in the absence of local sources (anthropogenic or natural) show that in situ gas phase oxidation of Hg0 is the most important factor influencing RGM production and therefore also Hg deposition. The toxicity of Hg means that the consequences of high concentrations of oxidized and soluble Hg species depositing in the fragile Antarctic environment could be serious indeed.
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Citation:Sprovieri, F., N. Pirrone, M. Hedgecock, M. S. Landis, and R. K. Stevens. Intensive Atmospheric Mercury Measurements at Terra Nova Bay in Antarctica During November and December 2000. JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH 107(D23):ACH 20-1to ACH 20-8, (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: Environmental Characterization & Apportionment Branch
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Product Type: Journal
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Published: 12/14/2002
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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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