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Linking Atmospheric Mercury Deposition to Human and Wildlife (Source to Receptor) by Coupling VELMA and WASP with BASS to simulate Fish Tissue Mercury Concentrations
Knightes, C., H. Golden, G. Davis, M. Barber, M. E. Brigham, K. Riva Murray, B. Eikenberry, C. Journey, P. Conrads, AND P. Bradley. Linking Atmospheric Mercury Deposition to Human and Wildlife (Source to Receptor) by Coupling VELMA and WASP with BASS to simulate Fish Tissue Mercury Concentrations. Presented at 9th INTECOL International Wetlands Conference: Wetlands in a Complex World, Orlando, FL, June 03 - 08, 2012.
Presentation for 9th INTECOL International Wetlands Conference: Wetlands in a Complex World. June 3 - 8. Orlando, FL.
Mercury (Hg) is the toxicant responsible for the majority of fish advisories across the United States, with 1.25 million miles of rivers under advisory due to the exposure risk from ingesting Hg-contaminated fish. The processes governing Hg exposures in lotic ecosystems are not well-understood, in large part because of the intricate linkages between lotic habitats and the surrounding watersheds and riparian wetlands. Atmospheric deposition of Hg is the primary source of Hg to many aquatic ecosystems. However, in systems where the watershed area greatly exceeds the surface water area, the indirect loading of Hg from the watershed is often the dominant pathway of Hg supply to the stream habitat. To understand the Hg exposure concentrations within streams and rivers, Hg fate and transport from source (atmospheric deposition) to receptor (ingestion of fish tissue) must be understood and quantitatively represented. Mechanistic models are often used to simulate the fate and transport of contaminants in environmental systems. Here we present a modular, multi-media, source-to-receptor approach, which uses atmospheric deposition and meteorology as forcing functions and employs three linked mechanistic models: 1) VELMA, Visualizing Ecosystems for Land Management Assessment, a spatially explicit, dynamic watershed hydrology and biogeochemical cycling model simulating flow and fluxes of divalent inorganic mercury (Hg(II)), methylmercury (MeHg), dissolved organic carbon (DOC), dissolved inorganic nitrogen (DIN) and dissolved organic nitrogen (DON); 2) WASP, Water quality Analysis Simulation Program, a spatially explicit, dynamic surface water fate and transport model that predicts instream surface water and sediment concentrations of elemental mercury (Hg(0)), Hg(II), and MeHg; and 3) BASS, Bioaccumulation and Aquatic System Simulator, a model that simulates population and bioaccumulation dynamics of age-structured fish communities and predicts MeHg concentrations in fish tissu