Characterizing Dry Deposition of Mercury in Urban Runoff
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Stormwater runoff from urban surfaces often contains elevated levels of toxic metals. When discharged directly into water bodies, these pollutants degrade water quality and impact aquatic life and human health. In this study, the composition of impervious surface runoff and associated rainfall was investigated for several storm events at an urban site in Orlando, Florida. Total mercury in runoff consisted of 58% particulate and 42% filtered forms. Concentration comparisons at the start and end of runoff events indicate that about 85% of particulate total mercury and 93% of particulate methylmercury were removed from the surface before runoff ended. Filtered mercury concentrations showed less than 50% reduction of both total and methylmercury from first flush to final flush. Direct comparison between rainfall and runoff at this urban site indicates dry deposition accounted for 22% of total inorganic mercury in runoff.
KeywordsDry deposition Mercury Partitioning Stormwater Urban runoff
Primary funding for this project came from the USGS National Water Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Program and the USGS Toxic Substances Hydrology Program. The assistance of the USGS Wisconsin Water Science Center Mercury Laboratory and David Krabbenhoft for providing laboratory analyses of Hg are greatly appreciated. Thanks also to Mark Olson (USGS) and John DeWild (USGS) for technical support. Also, the assistance of the HAL (Frontier Geosciences, Inc.) for providing MDN data is acknowledged. Special thanks to Marian Berndt (USGS), Mark Brigham (USGS), and Denny Wentz (USGS) for their meticulous review of this work.
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