Modeling the transport and fate of mercury in an urban lake (Onondaga Lake, NY)
- Cite this article as:
- Henry, E.A., Dodge-Murphy, L.J., Bigham, G.N. et al. Water Air Soil Pollut (1995) 80: 489. doi:10.1007/BF01189699
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A mass balance model was developed to simulate mercury (Hg) cycling in Onondaga Lake, New York. MERC4, a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency model of the physical and biogeochemical transport and transformation of Hg, was modified by the addition of input from two supporting models (Fish Bioenergetics Model 2 and a lake eutrophication model) to model the transport of Hg into and out of plankton and fish. The model calculates the concentrations of total Hg, methylmercury, elemental Hg, and ionic Hg in both dissolved and particulate forms in the water column. The model was calibrated to an extensive data set of temporally and spatially variable Hg concentrations in Onondaga Lake in 1992. In addition to standard transport processes of advection and dispersion included in MERC4, the Onondaga Lake Mercury Model includes remineralization to simulate release of Hg from settling particulates before incorporation into sediment. The model provides an analytical framework for understanding and predicting the behavior of Hg in Onondaga Lake and has potential use in evaluating the relative impact of different source control and remedial alternatives.