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Graydon J.A.,University of Alberta | St. Louis V.L.,University of Alberta | Lindberg S.E.,Oak Ridge National Laboratory | Sandilands K.A.,University of Winnipeg | And 8 more authors.
Global Biogeochemical Cycles | Year: 2012

As part of the Mercury Experiment to Assess Atmospheric Loading in Canada and the U.S. (METAALICUS), different stable Hg(II) isotope spikes were applied to the upland and wetland areas of a boreal catchment between 2001 and 2006 to examine retention of newly deposited Hg(II). In the present study, a Geographical Information Systems (GIS)-based approach was used to quantify canopy and ground vegetation pools of experimentally applied upland and wetland spike Hg within the METAALICUS watershed over the terrestrial loading phase of the experiment. A chemical kinetic model was also used to describe the changes in spike Hg concentrations of canopy and ground vegetation over time. An examination of the fate of spike Hg initially present on canopy vegetation using a mass balance approach indicated that the largest percentage flux from the canopy over one year post-spray was emission to the atmosphere (upland: 45%; wetland: 71%), followed by litterfall (upland: 14%; wetland: 10%) and throughfall fluxes (upland: 12%; wetland: 9%) and longer term retention of spike in the forest canopy (11% for both upland and wetland). Average half-lives (t 1/2) of spike on deciduous (110 30days) and coniferous (180 40days) canopy and ground vegetation (890 620days) indicated that retention of new atmospheric Hg(II) on terrestrial (especially ground) vegetation delays downward transport of new atmospheric Hg(II) into the soil profile and runoff into lakes. © 2012 by the American Geophysical Union.

Harris R.,Reed Harris Environmental Ltd | Pollman C.,Aqua Lux Lucis Inc. | Landing W.,Florida State University | Evans D.,National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration | And 11 more authors.
Environmental Research | Year: 2012

Gulf of Mexico (Gulf) fisheries account for 41% of the U.S. marine recreational fish catch and 16% of the nation's marine commercial fish landings. Mercury (Hg) concentrations are elevated in some fish species in the Gulf, including king mackerel, sharks, and tilefish. All five Gulf states have fish consumption advisories based on Hg. Per-capita fish consumption in the Gulf region is elevated compared to the U.S. national average, and recreational fishers in the region have a potential for greater MeHg exposure due to higher levels of fish consumption. Atmospheric wet Hg deposition is estimated to be higher in the Gulf region compared to most other areas in the U.S., but the largest source of Hg to the Gulf as a whole is the Atlantic Ocean (>90%) via large flows associated with the Loop Current. Redistribution of atmospheric, Atlantic and terrestrial Hg inputs to the Gulf occurs via large scale water circulation patterns, and further work is needed to refine estimates of the relative importance of these Hg sources in terms of contributing to fish Hg levels in different regions of the Gulf. Measurements are needed to better quantify external loads, in-situ concentrations, and fluxes of total Hg and methylmercury in the water column, sediments, and food web. © 2012 Elsevier Inc.

Harris R.,Reed Harris Environmental Ltd | Pollman C.,Aqua Lux Lucis Inc. | Hutchinson D.,Reed Harris Environmental Ltd | Landing W.,Florida State University | And 4 more authors.
Environmental Research | Year: 2012

A mass balance model of mercury (Hg) cycling and bioaccumulation was applied to the Gulf of Mexico (Gulf), coupled with outputs from hydrodynamic and atmospheric Hg deposition models. The dominant overall source of Hg to the Gulf is the Atlantic Ocean. Gulf waters do not mix fully however, resulting in predicted spatial differences in the relative importance of external Hg sources to Hg levels in water, sediments and biota. Direct atmospheric Hg deposition, riverine inputs, and Atlantic inputs were each predicted to be the most important source of Hg to at least one of the modeled regions in the Gulf. While incomplete, mixing of Gulf waters is predicted to be sufficient that fish Hg levels in any given location are affected by Hg entering other regions of the Gulf. This suggests that a Gulf-wide approach is warranted to reduce Hg loading and elevated Hg concentrations currently observed in some fish species. Basic data to characterize Hg concentrations and cycling in the Gulf are lacking but needed to adequately understand the relationship between Hg sources and fish Hg concentrations. © 2012.

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