Atmospheric sources, transport and deposition of mercury in Michigan: two years of event precipitation

TitleAtmospheric sources, transport and deposition of mercury in Michigan: two years of event precipitation
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1995
AuthorsHoyer MEsther, Burke J., Keeler GJ
JournalWater, Air, and Soil Pollution

To assess the sources, transport and deposition of atmospheric mercury (Hg) in Michigan, a multi-site network was implemented in which Hg concentrations in event precipitation and ambient samples (vapor and particulate phases) were determined. Results from the analysis of 2 years of event precipitation samples for Hg are reported here. The volume-weighted average Hg concentration in precipitation was 7.9, 10.8 and 10./2 ng/L for Pellston, South Have and Dexter sites, respectively. Yearly wet deposition of Hg for 1992-93 and 1993-94 was 5.8 and 5.5 ug/m2 at Pellston, 9.5 and 12.7 ug/m2 at South Haven and 8.7 and 9.1 ug/m2 at Dexter. A spatial gradient in both the Hg concentration and wet deposition was observed. Northern Michigan received almost half the deposition of Hg recorded at the southern Michigan sites. The concentration of Hg in precipitation exhibited a strong seasonal behavior with low values of 1.0 to 2.0 ng/L in winter and maximum values greater than 40 ng/L in summer. The spring, summer and autumn precipitation accounted for 89 to 91% of the total yearly Hg deposition. Mixed-layer back trajectories were calculated for each precipitation event to investigate the meteorlogical history and transport from potential Hg source regions. Elevated Hg concentrations were observed with air mass transport from the west, southwest, south, and southeast. At each of the sites precipitation events for which the Hg concentration was in the 90th and 10th percentile were analyzed for trace elements by ICP-MS to investigate source impacts.