Title

Atmospheric mercury concentrations and speciation measured from 2004 to 2007 in Reno, Nevada, USA

Document Type

Article

Journal/Book Title/Conference

Atmospheric Environment

Volume

43

Issue

30

Publisher

Elsevier

Publication Date

9-1-2009

First Page

4646

Last Page

4654

DOI

10.1016/j.atmosenv.2009.04.053

Abstract

Atmospheric elemental, reactive and particulate mercury (Hg) concentrations were measured north of downtown Reno, Nevada, USA from November 2004 to November 2007. Three-year mean and median concentrations for gaseous elemental Hg (Hg0) were 1.6 and 1.5 ng m−3 (respectively), similar to global mean Hg0 concentrations. The three-year mean reactive gaseous Hg (RGM) concentration (26 pg m−3) was higher than values reported for rural sites across the western United States. Well defined seasonal and daily patterns in Hg0 and RGM concentrations were observed, with the highest Hg0 concentrations measured in winter and early morning, and RGM concentrations being greatest in the summer and mid-afternoon. Elevated Hg0 concentrations in winter were associated with periods of cold, stagnant air; while a regularly observed early morning increase in concentration was due to local source and surface emissions. The observed afternoon increase and high summer values of RGM can be explained by in situ oxidation of gaseous Hg0 or mixing of RGM derived from the free troposphere to the surface. Because both of these processes are correlated with the same environmental conditions it is difficult to assess their overall contribution to the observed trends.

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