Document Type

Article

Date

2012

Embargo Period

3-27-2012

Keywords

evasion, Great Lakes, land cover, mercury, volatilization

Language

English

Disciplines

Civil and Environmental Engineering | Engineering

Description/Abstract

Rates of surface-air elemental mercury (Hgo) fluxes in the literature were synthesized for the Great Lakes Basin (GLB). For the majority of surfaces, fluxes were net positive (evasion). Digital land-cover data were combined with representative evasion rates and used to estimate annual Hgo evasion for the GLB (7.7 Mg/yr). This value is less than our estimate of total Hg deposition to the area (15.9 Mg/yr), suggesting the GLB is a net sink for atmospheric Hg. The greatest contributors to annual evasion for the basin are agricultural (~55%) and forest (~25%) land cover types, and the open water of the Great Lakes (~15%). Areal evasion rates were similar across most land cover types (range: 7.0 to 21.0 μg/m2-yr), with higher rates associated with urban (12.6 μg/m2-yr) and agricultural (21.0 μg/m2-yr) lands. Uncertainty in these estimates could be partially remedied through a unified methodological approach to estimating Hgo fluxes.

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