Special Section on the 18th International Conference on Environmental Indicators

Atmospheric mercury over the marine boundary layer observed duringthe third China Arctic Research Expedition

Hui Kang , Zhouqing Xie


Received November 22, 2010,Revised March 25, 2011, Accepted , Available online

Volume 23,2011,Pages 1424-1430

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TGM measurements on board ships have proved to provide valuable complementary information to measurements by a ground based monitoring network. During the third China Arctic Research Expedition (from July 11 to September 24, 2008), TGM concentrations over the marine boundary layer along the cruise path were in-situ measured using an automatic mercury vapor analyzer. Here we firstly reported the results in Japan Sea, North Western Pacific Ocean and Bering Sea, where there are rare reports. The value ranged between 0.30 and 6.02 ng/m3 with an average of (1.52 ± 0.68) ng/m3, being slightly lower than the background value of Northern Hemisphere (1.7 ng/m3). Notably TGM showed considerably spatial and temporal variation. Geographically, the average value of TGM in Bering Sea was higher than those observed in Japan Sea and North Western Pacific Ocean. In the north of Japan Sea TGM levels were found to be lower than 0.5 ng/m3 during forward cruise and displayed obviously diurnal cycle, indicating potential oxidation of gaseous mercury in the atmosphere. The pronounced episode was recorded as well. Enhanced levels of TGM were observed in the coastal regions of southern Japan Sea during backward cruise due primarily to air masses transported from the adjacent mainland reflecting the contribution from anthropogenic sources. When ship returned back and passed through Kamchatka Peninsula TGM increased by the potential contamination from volcano emissions.

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