Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 25, Issue 17, pp 16652–16663 | Cite as

Soil surface Hg emission flux in coalfield in Wuda, Inner Mongolia, China

  • Chunhui Li
  • Handong Liang
  • Ming Liang
  • Yang Chen
  • Yi Zhou
Research Article


Hg emission flux from various land covers, such as forests, wetlands, and urban areas, have been investigated. China has the largest area of coalfield in the world, but data of Hg flux of coalfields, especially, those with coal fires, are seriously limited. In this study, Hg fluxes of a coalfield were measured using the dynamic flux chamber (DFC) method, coupled with a Lumex multifunctional Hg analyzer RA-915+ (Lumex Ltd., Russia). The results show that the Hg flux in Wuda coalfield ranged from 4 to 318 ng m−2 h−1, and the average value for different areas varied, e.g., coal-fire area 99 and 177 ng m−2 h−1; no coal-fire area 19 and 32 ng m−2 h−1; and backfilling area 53 ng m−2 h−1. Hg continued to be emitted from an underground coal seam, even if there were no phenomena, such as vents, cracks, and smog, of coal fire on the soil surface. This phenomenon occurred in all area types, i.e., coal-fire area, no coal-fire area, and backfilling area, which is universal in Wuda coalfield. Considering that many coalfields in northern China are similar to Wuda coalfield, they may be large sources of atmospheric Hg. The correlations of Hg emission flux with influence factors, such as sunlight intensity, soil surface temperature, and atmospheric Hg content, were also investigated for Wuda coalfield.

Graphical abstract


Wuda Coalfire Hg emission flux Soil Hg Dust Hg 



The authors thank Qingyi Cao, Xiuping Hong, and Zhe Wang, with College of Geoscience and Surveying Engineering, China University of Mining and Technology.


This study was financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 41371449).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chunhui Li
    • 1
    • 2
  • Handong Liang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ming Liang
    • 1
  • Yang Chen
    • 1
  • Yi Zhou
    • 1
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Coal Resoures and Safe MiningChina University of Mining and TechnologyBeijingChina
  2. 2.College of Geoscience and Surveying EngineeringChina University of Mining and Technology(Beijing)BeijingChina

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