, Volume 56, Issue 1, pp 251-265

Occurrence and turnover of atmospheric mercury over the nordic countries

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Abstract

A seasonal variation of both particle and gaseous Hg concentrations in the atmosphere is present in south-western Sweden. An average gaseous Hg level of 3.7 ng m−3 is found in winter, compared to 2.8 ng m−3 in summer. A weak decreasing south-north gradient for gaseous Hg in air over the Nordic countries is also present, with yearly average values from 3.2 to 2.8 ng m−3. A gradient for particulate Hg is less clear. An air parcel trajectory sector classification of gaseous Hg levels in air, and to some extent the particulate associated Hg, clearly demonstrates the increased concentrations in the southern sectors, especially in south-western Sweden where the gaseous Hg increase is about I ng m−3. These observations are consistent with an influence from the European continent. The average concentrations of Hg in precipitation at the various stations show a pronounced decreasing south-north gradient. A major portion of the total Hg present in precipitation is associated with particles. For the southern stations, a strong correlation between Hg and sulfate, or pH, is present suggesting a connection between Hg in precipitation and anthropogenic activities.