, Volume 14, Issue 1-2, pp 7-14

Mercury in Northeastern North America: A synthesis of Existing Databases

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Abstract

A large number of datasets representing mercury (Hg) levels in northeastern North America were assembled in a standardized format between 2000 and 2003. Based on support from the Northeastern States Research Cooperative, scientists annually gathered and developed an operational template to collaboratively analyze and interpret these data for a series of peer-reviewed publications. The diverse group covered Hg policy connections, Hg in air, sediment and surface water, Hg in biota, and Hg collection, assessment and monitoring tools. A site-specific application of these Hg data is provided to demonstrate the importance of well-placed air monitoring stations, the need for integrative multimedia data sets, and the complexity of linking abiotic and biotic Hg compartments. Demonstrated is the ubiquitous nature of Hg and methylmercury availability and how its heterogeneous distribution is now relatively well understood for northeastern North America.