EPA Science Inventory

Developing a model for the mercury cycle in the Marano-Grado Lagoon (Italy)

Citation:

Description:

The Marano-Grado Lagoon is a wetland system of about 160 km2 located in the Northern Adriatic Sea (Italy) between the Tagliamento and the Isonzo River mouths. The lagoon morphology and biogeochemistry are primarily controlled by the exchange with the Adriatic Sea and, to a lesser extent, by small terrestrial riverine inputs. The lagoon environment is protected by the Ramsar Convention and identified as a site of Community Importance by European environmental law. However, due to its high levels of sanitary and environmental risks, the lagoon has been declared a polluted site of national interest (SIN; Ministerial Decree 468/01). The lagoon, as well as the entire Gulf of Trieste, has been subjected to historical extended mercury (Hg) contamination of natural and anthropogenic origins. Five hundred years of mercury (Hg) mining activity in Idrja (Slovenia caused widespread Hg contamination. (Dizdarević, 2001). Releases from waste products of smelting activities deposited along the Idrijca River were washed downstream by flooding, carried thorugh the Soca/Isonzo River, transported to the Gulf of Trieste, and then transported to the Marano-Grado Lagoon. It has been estimated that approximately 37000 tons were released into the environment. In addition, a direct load of mercury (~186 tons) has been discharged in the lagoon during the 45 years of activity from the chlor-alkali plant sited close to the Aussa-Corno River system. Mercury is a pollutant of great concern, included in the list of dangerous substances (EU Water Framework Directive -2000/60-EU) because of the high neurotoxicity of its methylated form (MeHg) and of the well known properties of both bioaccumulation and biomagnification through the whole trophic food web. Here we make a synthesis of the available information concerning the mercury budget and dynamics of the MGL, collecting available data from literature and from technical documents. Moreover, we present the results of a model application made

Purpose/Objective:

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URLs/Downloads:

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Record Details:

Record Type: DOCUMENT (PRESENTATION/SLIDE)
Start Date: 07/02/2012
Completion Date: 07/02/2012
Record Last Revised: 10/16/2012
Record Created: 09/21/2012
Record Released: 09/21/2012
OMB Category: Other
Record ID: 246474

Organization:

U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

NATIONAL EXPOSURE RESEARCH LAB

ECOSYSTEMS RESEARCH DIVISION