Air-surface exchange measurements of gaseous elemental mercury over naturally enriched and background terrestrial landscapes in Australia

G. C. Edwards*, D. A. Howard

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)
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This paper presents the first gaseous elemental mercury (GEM) air-surface exchange measurements obtained over naturally enriched and background (< 0.1 μg g-1 Hg) terrestrial landscapes in Australia. Two pilot field studies were carried out during the Australian autumn and winter periods at a copper-gold-cobalt-arsenic-mercury mineral field near Pulganbar, NSW. GEM fluxes using a dynamic flux chamber approach were measured, along with controlling environmental parameters over three naturally enriched and three background substrates. The enriched sites results showed net emission to the atmosphere and a strong correlation between flux and substrate Hg concentration, with average fluxes ranging from 14 ± 1 ngm-2 h-1 to 113 ± 6 ngm-2 h-1. Measurements at background sites showed both emission and deposition. The average Hg flux from all background sites showed an overall net emission of 0.36 ± 0.06 ngm-2 h-1. Fluxes show strong relationships with temperature, radiation, and substrate parameters. A compensation point of 2.48, representative of bare soils was determined. For periods of deposition, dry deposition velocities ranged from 0.00025 cm s-1 to 0.0083 cm s-1 with an average of 0.0041 ± 0.00018 cm s-1, representing bare soil, nighttime conditions. Comparison of the Australian data to North American data suggests the need for Australian-specific mercury air-surface exchange data representative of Australia's unique climatic conditions, vegetation types, land use patterns and soils.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5325-5336
Number of pages12
JournalAtmospheric Chemistry and Physics
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2013. Originally published in Atmospheric chemistry and physics, 13, 5325-5336, doi:10.5194/acp-13-5325-2013, 2013. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


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