The chemistry and transport of mercury in a small wetland in the Adirondack region of New York, USA

Charles T. Driscoll, John Holsapple, Carl L. Schofield, Ron Munson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

117 Scopus citations

Abstract

The biogeochemistry of Hg was evaluated in a small wetland in the Adirondack region of New York. Concentrations of total Hg (Hg(T)) in streamwater draining the wetland showed little temporal variation. The annual areal watershed flux of Hg(T) (2.2 μg/m2-yr) was considerably smaller than regional inputs of atmospheric deposition of Hg(T), indicating that the terrestrial environment is a net sink for atmospheric deposition of Hg(T). Drainage inputs of Hg(T) were conservatively transported through the beaver impoundment. The annual flux of total methylmercury (CH3Hg(T)+) was greater than literature values of atmospheric deposition suggesting that the watershed is a net source of CH3Hg(T)+. Stream concentrations of CH3Hg(T)+ increased during low-flow summer conditions in a riparian wetland, and particularly at the outlet of the beaver impoundment. Net production of CH3Hg(T)+ occurred in the beaver impoundment (0.45 μg/m2-yr). Rates of net methylation for the beaver impoundment were comparable to values reported in the literature for wetlands.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)137-146
Number of pages10
JournalBiogeochemistry
Volume40
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - Jan 1 1998

Keywords

  • Atmospheric deposition
  • Beaver impoundment
  • Mercury
  • Methylmercury
  • Wetlands

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Earth-Surface Processes

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