Elemental mercury evasion from boreal mires
Project funded by own resources
Project title Elemental mercury evasion from boreal mires
Principal Investigator(s) Alewell, Christine
Co-Investigator(s) Bishop, Kevin
Project Members Osterwalder, Stefan
Organisation / Research unit Departement Umweltwissenschaften / Umweltgeowissenschaften (Alewell)
Project Website https://umweltgeo.unibas.ch/forschung/aktuelle-projekte/
Project start 01.04.2012
Probable end 31.12.2018
Status Completed
Abstract

Human activities, such as mining and burning of fossil fuels, have increased the mobilization of mercury (Hg) into the environment and raised the amounts in the atmosphere, soils, fresh waters, and oceans by a factor of three to five. International efforts to alleviate the problem of Hg in the environment are focused on reducing Hg deposition. However, it seems doubtful that these efforts will have a considerable effect, especially in northern countries, since so much Hg has already accumulated in the superficial organic soils of mires.

Knowing the land-atmosphere exchange of Hg in mires is crucial to predict how effective efforts to reduce anthropogenic Hg emissions will be in reducing the pool of Hg in these mires and ultimately the loading of the extremely toxic methylmercury (MeHg) from mires to surface waters.

We have developed the first long term application of the Relaxed Eddy Accumulation (REA) technique, a micrometeorological method, which has only been used in a few short-term studies on Hg fluxes from contaminated sites up to now. Since our instrument has been tested successfully, we are able to quantify the first seasonal land-atmosphere exchange of gaseous elemental mercury (Hg0) over a boreal mire. The proposed study site Degerö Stormyr is situated close to the host university in Umeå, Sweden and provides a very well developed research infrastructure.

We hypothesize that emission of Hg0 from the peat surface, especially during snowmelt and summer time, is an important pathway of Hg removal from boreal mires that greatly exceeds export by runoff and leaching.

In the frame of my Ph.D. program I want to test this hypothesis using our accurate REA system and determine the most important factors and processes (geochemistry and climate) that promote Hg2+ reduction and subsequent Hg0 evasion. The final goal is to use these results to define whether boreal mires are sinks or sources of mercury and if Hg0 emissions to the atmosphere significantly reduce the large pool of Hg in the superficial peat, now that atmospheric deposition in northern Europe has been reduced by 40 % compared to the early 1990s

Keywords mercury, evasion, mire, peatland, relaxed eddy accumulation, flux chamber
Financed by University funds
Other funds

Published results ()

  ID Autor(en) Titel ISSN / ISBN Erschienen in Art der Publikation
2821781  Fritsche, Johannes; Osterwader, Stefan; Nilsson, Mats B.; Sagerfors, Jorgen; Akerblom, Staffan; Bishop, Kevin; Alewell, Christine  Evasion of Elemental Mercury from a Boreal Peatland Suppressed by Long-Term Sulfate Addition  2328-8930  Environmental science & technology letters  Publication: JournalArticle (Originalarbeit in einer wissenschaftlichen Zeitschrift) 
3641328  Osterwalder, S.; Fritsche, J.; Åkerblom, S.; Nilsson, M.; Bishop, K.; Alewell, C.  Mercury evasion from a boreal peatland determined with advanced REA and chamber methods  1420-6773  BGS Bulletin  Publication: Other Publications (Forschungsberichte o. ä.) 
3696510  Osterwalder, Stefan  Land-atmosphere exchange of elemental mercury: New insights using a novel relaxed eddy accumulation system and enclosure techniques      Publication: Thesis (Dissertationen, Habilitationen) 
3645270  Osterwalder, Stefan; Fritsche, Johannes; Alewell, Christine; Schmutz, Michael; Nilsson, Mats; Jocher, Georg; Sommar, Jonas; Rinne, Janne; Bishop, Kevin  A dual-inlet, single detector relaxed eddy accumulation system for long-term measurement of mercury flux  1867-1381 ; 1867-8548  Atmospheric Measurement Techniques  Publication: JournalArticle (Originalarbeit in einer wissenschaftlichen Zeitschrift) 
4044613  Osterwalder, Stefan; Bishop, Kevin; Alewell, Christine; Fritsche, Johannes; Laudon, Hjalmar; Åkerblom, Staffan; Nilsson, Mats B.  Mercury evasion from a boreal peatland shortens the timeline for recovery from legacy pollution  2045-2322  Scientific Reports  Publication: JournalArticle (Originalarbeit in einer wissenschaftlichen Zeitschrift) 
4194164  Osterwalder, S.; Sommar, J.; Akerblom, S.; Jocher, G.; Fritsche, J.; Nilsson, M. B.; Bishop, K.; Alewell, C.  Comparative study of elemental mercury flux measurement techniques over a Fennoscandian boreal peatland  1352-2310 ; 1873-2844  Atmospheric Environment  Publication: JournalArticle (Originalarbeit in einer wissenschaftlichen Zeitschrift) 

Cooperations ()

  ID Kreditinhaber Kooperationspartner Institution Laufzeit - von Laufzeit - bis
411056  Fritsche, Johannes  Kevin Bishop  Sveriges Lantbruksuniversitet  01.01.2010  31.12.2012 
411057  Fritsche, Johannes  Mats Nilsson  Sveriges Lantbruksuniversitet  01.01.2010  31.12.2012 
983625  Alewell, Christine  Bishop, Kevin, Prof. Dr.  University of Uppsala  03.01.2012  31.12.2015 
   

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