A synthesis of rates and controls on elemental mercury evasion in the Great Lakes Basin

Joseph S. Denkenberger, Charles T. Driscoll, Brian A. Branfireun, Chris S. Eckley, Mark Cohen, Pranesh Selvendiran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Rates of surface-air elemental mercury (Hg 0) fluxes in the literature were synthesized for the Great Lakes Basin (GLB). For the majority of surfaces, fluxes were net positive (evasion). Digital land-cover data were combined with representative evasion rates and used to estimate annual Hg 0 evasion for the GLB (7.7 Mg/yr). This value is less than our estimate of total Hg deposition to the area (15.9 Mg/yr), suggesting the GLB is a net sink for atmospheric Hg. The greatest contributors to annual evasion for the basin are agricultural (∼55%) and forest (∼25%) land cover types, and the open water of the Great Lakes (∼15%). Areal evasion rates were similar across most land cover types (range: 7.0-21.0 μg/m 2-yr), with higher rates associated with urban (12.6 μg/m 2-yr) and agricultural (21.0 μg/m 2-yr) lands. Uncertainty in these estimates could be partially remedied through a unified methodological approach to estimating Hg 0 fluxes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)291-298
Number of pages8
JournalEnvironmental Pollution
StatePublished - Feb 2012


  • Evasion
  • Great Lakes
  • Land cover
  • Mercury
  • Volatilization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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