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Volume 16, issue 18
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 16, 11547-11562, 2016
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-16-11547-2016
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Special issue: Global Mercury Observation System – Atmosphere...

Atmos. Chem. Phys., 16, 11547-11562, 2016
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-16-11547-2016
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research article 19 Sep 2016

Research article | 19 Sep 2016

Atmospheric wet and litterfall mercury deposition at urban and rural sites in China

Xuewu Fu1, Xu Yang1,2, Xiaofang Lang1,2, Jun Zhou1,2, Hui Zhang1, Ben Yu1, Haiyu Yan1, Che-Jen Lin1,3,4, and Xinbin Feng1 Xuewu Fu et al.
  • 1State Key Laboratory of Environmental Geochemistry, Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 99 Lincheng West Road, Guiyang, 550081, China
  • 2Key Laboratory of Karst Environment and Geohazard Prevention, Guizhou University, Ministry of Education, Guiyang, 550003, China
  • 3Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Lamar University, Beaumont, Texas 77710, USA
  • 4Center for Advances in Water and Air Quality, Lamar University, Beaumont, Texas 77710, USA

Abstract. Mercury (Hg) concentrations and deposition fluxes in precipitation and litterfall were measured at multiple sites (six rural sites and an urban site) across a broad geographic area in China. The annual deposition fluxes of Hg in precipitation at rural sites and an urban site were 2.0 to 7.2 and 12.6±6.5µgm−2yr−1, respectively. Wet deposition fluxes of Hg at rural sites showed a clear regional difference with elevated deposition fluxes in the subtropical zone, followed by the temporal zone and arid/semi-arid zone. Precipitation depth is the primary influencing factor causing the variation of wet deposition. Hg fluxes through litterfall ranged from 22.8 to 62.8µgm−2yr−1, higher than the wet deposition fluxes by a factor of 3.9 to 8.7 and representing approximately 75% of the total Hg deposition at the forest sites in China. This suggests that uptake of atmospheric Hg by foliage is the dominant pathway to remove atmospheric Hg in forest ecosystems in China. Wet deposition fluxes of Hg at rural sites of China were generally lower compared to those in North America and Europe, possibly due to a combination of lower precipitation depth, lower GOM concentrations in the troposphere and the generally lower cloud base heights at most sites that wash out a smaller amount of GOM and PBM during precipitation events.

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