Empirical models for estimating mercury flux from soils

Che Jen Lin*, Mae S. Gustin, Pattaraporn Singhasuk, Chris Eckley, Matthieu Miller

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

75 Citations (Scopus)


Multiple parameters have been suggested to influence the exchange of mercury (Hg) between the atmosphere and soils. However, models applied for estimating soil Hg flux are simple and do not consider the potential synergistic and antagonist relationships between factors controlling the exchange. This study applied a two-level factorial experimental design in a gas exchange chamber (GEC) to investigate the individual and combined effects of three environmental factors (temperature, light, and soil moisture) on soil Hg flux. It was shown that individually irradiation, soil moisture, and air temperature all significantly enhance Hg evasive flux (by 90-140%). Synergistic effects (20-30% of additional flux enhancement) were observed for all two-factor interactions, with air temperature/soil moisture and air temperature/irradiation being the most significant. Results from the factorial experiments suggest that a model incorporating the second-order interactions can appropriately explain the flux response to the changes of the studied factors. Based on the factorial experiment results and using the flux data for twelve soil materials measured with a dynamic flux chamber (DFC) at various temperatures, soil moisture contents, solar radiation exposures, and soil Hg contents, two empirical models for estimating Hg flux from soils were developed. Model verification with ambient flux data not used to develop the models suggested that the models were capable of estimating dry soil Hg flux with a high degree of predictability (r ∼ 0.9).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8522-8528
Number of pages7
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Issue number22
Publication statusPublished - 15 Nov 2010
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Empirical models for estimating mercury flux from soils'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this