Sources of Mercury Wet Deposition in Eastern Ohio, USA

University of Michigan Air Quality Laboratory, Ann Arbor 48109, USA.
Environmental Science and Technology (Impact Factor: 5.33). 11/2006; 40(19):5874-81. DOI: 10.1021/es060377q
Source: PubMed


In the fall of 2002, an enhanced air monitoring site was established in Steubenville, Ohio as part of a multi-year comprehensive mercury monitoring and source apportionment study to investigate the impact of local and regional coal combustion sources on atmospheric mercury deposition in the Ohio River Valley. This study deployed advanced monitoring instrumentation, utilized innovative analytical techniques, and applied state-of-the-art statistical receptor models. This paper presents wet deposition data and source apportionment modeling results from daily event precipitation samples collected during the calendar years 2003-2004. The volume-weighted mean mercury concentrations for 2003 and 2004 were 14.0 and 13.5 ng L(-1), respectively, and total annual mercury wet deposition was 13.5 and 19.7 microg m(-2), respectively. Two new EPA-implemented multivariate statistical models, positive matrix factorization (PMF) and Unmix, were applied to the data set and six sources were identified. The dominant contributor to the mercury wet deposition was found by both models to be coal combustion (approximately 70%). Meteorological analysis also indicated that a majority of the mercury deposition found at the Steubenville site was due to local and regional sources.

Download full-text


Available from: Matthew S Landis, Oct 01, 2015
46 Reads
  • Source
    • "Wet mercury deposition was estimated by the National Atmospheric Deposition Program as 15.5, 9.9 and 11.4 lg m -2 in 2006, 2007 and 2008, respectively. Elevated mercury levels in the park are attributed to both nearby coal-fired plants as well as more distant sources (Keeler et al. 2006), although Valente et al. (2007) did not find atmospheric mercury levels significantly higher than global trends in a nearby mid-elevation (813 m) site just west of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. We sampled birds from multiple elevations and habitats, but focused primarily on birds breeding in the high-elevation ([1,500 m) Southern Appalachian red spruce (Picea rubens)-Fraser fir ( "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Mercury contamination in wildlife has rarely been studied in the Southern Appalachians despite high deposition rates in the region. From 2006 to 2008 we sampled feathers from 458 birds representing 32 species in the Southern Appalachians for total mercury and stable isotope δ (15)N. Mercury concentrations (mean ± SE) averaged 0.46 ± 0.02 μg g(-1) (range 0.01-3.74 μg g(-1)). Twelve of 32 species had individuals (7 % of all birds sampled) with mercury concentrations higher than 1 μg g(-1). Mercury concentrations were 17 % higher in juveniles compared to adults (n = 454). In adults, invertivores has higher mercury levels compared to omnivores. Mercury was highest at low-elevation sites near water, however mercury was detected in all birds, including those in the high elevations (1,000-2,000 m). Relative trophic position, calculated from δ (15)N, ranged from 2.13 to 4.87 across all birds. We fitted linear mixed-effects models to the data separately for juveniles and year-round resident adults. In adults, mercury concentrations were 2.4 times higher in invertivores compared to omnivores. Trophic position was the main effect explaining mercury levels in juveniles, with an estimated 0.18 ± 0.08 μg g(-1) increase in feather mercury for each one unit rise in trophic position. Our research demonstrates that mercury is biomagnifying in birds within this terrestrial mountainous system, and further research is warranted for animals foraging at higher trophic levels, particularly those associated with aquatic environments downslope from montane areas receiving high mercury deposition.
    Ecotoxicology 01/2014; 23(2). DOI:10.1007/s10646-013-1174-6 · 2.71 Impact Factor
  • Source
    • "THg concentrations in precipitation in the study site were lower than those reported in North America and Europe (Guentzel et al., 2001; Vanarsdale et al., 2005; Keeler et al., 2006). The levels of THg in the study area were also lower than those observed in other remote areas of China (Guo et al., 2008; Fu et al., 2010a,b; Wang et al., 2009). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: China is regarded as one of the largest anthropogenic mercury (Hg) emission source regions over the world. However, wet and dry deposition of atmospheric Hg in China has not been well investigated. In the present study, wet and litterfall depositions of total mercury (THg) were continuously measured from June 2011 to May 2012 at a high-altitude site in Mt. Ailao area, Southwestern China. The annual volume-weighted mean concentration of THg and reactive mercury (RHg) in precipitation was 2.98 and 0.92 ng L-1, respectively. The mean THg concentration in litterfall was 52 ng g-1 (dry weight). Atmospheric deposition was highly elevated in forest in the study area, with the annual mean THg deposition fluxes of 76.7 μg m-2 yr-1. Litterfall Hg depositions were the major pathway for Hg loading to the forest catchment, which were 71.2 μg m-2 yr-1 (about 92.8% of total input for THg). Forest ecosystem in the study area was a large pool of atmospheric Hg, and the average storage of Hg in forest soil (0-80 cm depth) was 191.3 mg m-2.
    Atmospheric Environment 12/2013; 81:364-372. DOI:10.1016/j.atmosenv.2013.09.010 · 3.28 Impact Factor
  • Source
    • "Previously Positive Matrix Factorization (PMF), Unmix, Quantitative Transport Bias Analysis (QTBA) have been used to identify Hg-related factors that influence Hg wet deposition (Keeler et al., 2006; Gratz and Keeler, 2011). Principle Component Analysis (PCA) also has been applied to explore the variations of atmospheric Hg concentration (Lynam and Keeler, 2006; Liu et al., 2007; Huang et al., 2010). These studies all reported an important coal combustion source that is related to S (or SO 2 ) and Hg. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: In the spring of 2008, a 260MWe coal-fired power plant (CFPP) located in Rochester, New York was closed over a 4month period. Using a 2-years data record, the impacts of the shutdown of the CFPP on nearby ambient concentrations of three Hg species were quantified. The arithmetic average ambient concentrations of gaseous elemental mercury (GEM), gaseous oxidized mercury (GOM), and particulate mercury (PBM) during December 2007-November 2009 were 1.6ngm(-3), 5.1pgm(-3), and 8.9pgm(-3), respectively. The median concentrations of GEM, GOM, and PBM significantly decreased by 12%, 73%, and 50% after the CFPP closed (Mann-Whitney test, p<0.001). Positive Matrix Factorization (EPA PMF v4.1) identified six factors including O(3)-rich, traffic, gas phase oxidation, wood combustion, nucleation, and CFPP. When the CFPP was closed, median concentrations of GEM, GOM, and PBM apportioned to the CFPP factor significantly decreased by 25%, 74%, and 67%, respectively, compared to those measured when the CFPP was still in operation (Mann-Whitney test, p<0.001). Conditional probability function (CPF) analysis showed the greatest reduction in all three Hg species was associated with northwesterly winds pointing toward the CFPP. These changes were clearly attributable to the closure of the CFPP.
    Chemosphere 02/2013; 92(4). DOI:10.1016/j.chemosphere.2013.01.024 · 3.34 Impact Factor
Show more