Long-Term Observations of Atmospheric Speciated Mercury at a Coastal Site in the Northern Gulf of Mexico during 2007–2018
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Long-Term Observations of Atmospheric Speciated Mercury at a Coastal Site in the Northern Gulf of Mexico during 2007–2018
  • Published Date:

    2020

  • Source:
    Atmosphere, 11(3)
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Long-Term Observations of Atmospheric Speciated Mercury at a Coastal Site in the Northern Gulf of Mexico during 2007–2018
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  • Description:
    Atmospheric mercury species (gaseous elemental mercury (GEM), gaseous oxidized mercury (GOM), and particulate-bound mercury (PBM)), trace pollutants (O3, SO2, CO, NO, NOY, and black carbon), and meteorological parameters have been continuously measured since 2007 at an Atmospheric Mercury Network (AMNet) site that is located on the northern coast of the Gulf of Mexico in Moss Point, Mississippi. For the data that were collected between 2007 and 2018, the average concentrations and standard deviations are 1.39 ± 0.22 ng m−3 for GEM, 5.1 ± 10.2 pg m−3 for GOM, 5.9 ± 13.0 pg m−3 for PBM, and 309 ± 407 ng m−2 wk−1 for mercury wet deposition, with interannual trends of −0.009 ng m−3 yr−1 for GEM, −0.36 pg m−3 yr−1 for GOM, 0.18 pg m−3 yr−1 for PBM, and 2.8 ng m−2 wk−1 yr−1 for mercury wet deposition. The diurnal variation of GEM shows lower concentrations in the early morning due to GEM depletion, likely due to plant uptake in high humidity events and slight elevation during the day, likely due to downward mixing to the surface of higher concentrations of GEM in the air aloft. The seasonal variation of GEM shows higher levels in winter and spring and lower levels in summer and fall. Diurnal variations of both GOM and PBM show broad peaks in the afternoon likely due to the photochemical oxidation of GEM. Seasonally, PBM measurements exhibit higher levels in winter and early spring and lower levels in summer with rising levels in fall, while GOM measurements show high levels in late spring/early summer and late fall and low levels in winter. The seasonal variation of mercury wet deposition shows higher values in summer and lower values in winter, due to larger rainfall amounts in summer than in winter. As expected, anticorrelation between mercury wet deposition and the sum of GOM and PBM, but positive correlation between mercury wet deposition and rainfall were observed. Correlation among GOM, ozone, and SO2 suggests possible different GOM sources: direct emissions and photochemical oxidation of GEM, with the possible influence of boundary layer dynamics and seasonal variability. This study indicates that the monitoring site experiences are impacted from local and regional mercury sources as well as large scale mercury cycling phenomena.
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