Long-term mercury dynamics in UK soils

Tipping, E.; Wadsworth, R.A.; Norris, D.A.; Hall, J.R.; Ilyin, I.. 2011 Long-term mercury dynamics in UK soils. Environmental Pollution, 159 (12). 3474-3483.

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A model assuming first-order losses by evasion and leaching was used to evaluate Hg dynamics in UK soils since 1850. Temporal deposition patterns of Hg were constructed from literature information. Inverse modelling indicated that 30% of 898 rural sites receive Hg only from the global circulation, while in 51% of cases local deposition exceeds global. Average estimated deposition is 16 μg Hg m-2 a-1 to rural soils, 19 μg Hg m-2 a-1 to rural and non-rural soils combined. UK soils currently hold 2490 tonnes of reactive Hg, of which 2140 tonnes are due to anthropogenic deposition, mostly local in origin. Topsoil currently releases 5.1 tonnes of Hg0 per annum to the atmosphere, about 50% more than the anthropogenic flux. Sorptive retention of Hg in the lower soil exerts a strong control on surface-water Hg concentrations. Following decreases in inputs, soil Hg concentrations are predicted to decline over hundreds of years.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Programmes: CEH Topics & Objectives 2009 - 2012 > Biogeochemistry > BGC Topic 3 - Managing Threats to Environment and Health > BGC - 3.3 - Deliver effective advice, models and applied science ...
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Shore
ISSN: 0269-7491
Additional Keywords: dynamics, evasion, leaching, mercury, soils
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Date made live: 18 Oct 2011 14:27 +0 (UTC)

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