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Modelling atmospheric mercury transport and deposition across Europe and the UK

Lee, D. S.; Nemitz, E.; Fowler, D.; Kingdon, R. D.. 2001 Modelling atmospheric mercury transport and deposition across Europe and the UK. Atmospheric Environment, 35. 5455-5466. 10.1016/S1352-2310(01)00284-9

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Abstract/Summary

There are inadequate measurements of surface ambient concentrations of mercury species and their deposition rates for the UK deposition budget to be characterized. In order to estimate the overall mercury flux budget for the UK, a simple long-term 1D Lagrangian trajectory model was constructed that treats emissions (1998), atmospheric transformation and deposition across Europe. The model was used to simulate surface concentrations of mercury and deposition across Europe at a resolution of 50 km×50 km and across the UK at 20 km×20 km. The model appeared to perform adequately when compared with the few available measurements, reproducing mean concentrations of elemental gaseous mercury at particular locations and the magnitude of regional gradients. The model showed that 68% of the UK's mercury emissions are exported and 32% deposited within the UK. Of deposition to the UK, 25% originates from the Northern Hemisphere/global background, 41% from UK sources and 33% from other European countries. The total mercury deposition to the UK is in good agreement with other modelling, 9.9 tonne yr−1 cf. 9.0 tonne yr−1, for 1998. However, the attribution differs greatly from the results of other coarser-scale modelling, which allocates 55% of the deposition to the UK from UK sources, 4% from other European countries and 60% from the global background atmosphere. The model was found to be sensitive to the speciation of emissions and the dry deposition velocity of elemental gaseous mercury. The uncertainties and deficiencies are discussed in terms of model parameterization and input data, and measurement data with which models can be validated. There is an urgent requirement for measurements of removal terms, concentrations, and deposition with which models can be parameterized and validated.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1016/S1352-2310(01)00284-9
Programmes: CEH Programmes pre-2009 publications > Biogeochemistry
CEH Sections: _ Atmospheric Sciences
ISSN: 1352-2310
Additional Keywords: Mercury, Modelling, Atmospheric budgets, Long-range transport
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Atmospheric Sciences
Date made live: 08 Sep 2008 15:10
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/3684

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