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Mercury Distribution in Seawater of Kagoshima Bay near the Active Volcano, Mt. Sakurajima in Japan


Kagoshima bay has a highly active volcano in its center. In the filtered seawater and suspended matter collected from 200-m deep fumaroles at the bottom of the inner bay, the geometric mean concentrations of total mercury were 7.6 and 65.0 ng/L, respectively. The surface seawater collected at the inner bay had a higher concentration of mercury when compared to that in the bay entrance (average: 1.0 vs. 0.5 ng/L). In July, however, no such difference was observed. The fumaroles seem to contribute to relatively high concentrations of mercury in the inner bay except in summer, when thermal cline is formed.

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The authors are grateful to the captain and crew of R/V Natsushima and the operation team of Dolphin 3 K for collecting seawater samples, to Prof. Tomoyuki Miura (University of Miyazaki) and Prof. Jun Hashimoto (University of Nagasaki) for their valuable information concerning marine sciences, to Drs. Atsuhiro Nakano and Hirokatsu Akagi (National Institute for Minamata Disease) for their advice on mercury analysis, and to Prof. Justinian Ikingura (University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania) for his critical reading of the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Tetsuo Ando.

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Ando, T., Yamamoto, M., Tomiyasu, T. et al. Mercury Distribution in Seawater of Kagoshima Bay near the Active Volcano, Mt. Sakurajima in Japan. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 84, 477–481 (2010).

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  • Mercury
  • Sea water
  • Volcano
  • Distribution