Title

Determinants of atmospheric mercury concentrations in Reno, Nevada, U.S.A.

Document Type

Article

Journal/Book Title/Conference

Science of the Total Environment

Volume

408

Publisher

Elsevier

Publication Date

1-1-2009

First Page

431

Last Page

438

DOI

10.1016/j.scitotenv.2009.09.045

Abstract

Concentrations of gaseous elemental mercury (GEM), gaseous oxidized mercury (GOM) and particulate-bound mercury (PBM) were measured along with ancillary variables 9 km east of downtown Reno, Nevada, U.S.A. from November 2006 through March 2009. Mean two-year (February 2007 through January 2009) GEM, GOM, and PBM concentrations were 2.0 ± 0.7 ng m− 3 (± standard deviation), 18 ± 22 pg m− 3, and 7 ± 7 pg m− 3, respectively. Data collected were compared with observations made at another location just north of the city at 169 m higher elevation. At both locations higher concentrations of GEM and PBM occurred in periods with little atmospheric mixing, indicating that local sources were important for enhancing GEM and PBM concentrations in Reno above that considered continental background. Concentrations of GOM were higher (maximum of 177 pg m− 3) during periods with higher temperature and lower dew point. Higher GOM concentrations at the higher elevation site with less urban impact relative to the valley site, along with other data trends, support the hypothesis that in northern Nevada subsiding dry air from the free troposphere is a source of GOM to the surface.

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