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Sources of riverine mercury across the Mackenzie River Basin; inferences from a combined Hg C isotopes and optical properties approach
Uppsala universitet, Teknisk-naturvetenskapliga vetenskapsområdet, Geovetenskapliga sektionen, Institutionen för geovetenskaper, Luft-, vatten- och landskapslära. Depatment of Forest Ecology and Management, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Umeå, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9113-8915
Department of Aquatic Sciences and Assessment, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala, Sweden.
Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Environmental research and monitoring.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8490-8600
Statistiska centralbyrån (SCB), Statistic Sweden, Stockholm, Sweden.
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2022 (English)In: Science of the Total Environment, ISSN 0048-9697, E-ISSN 1879-1026, Vol. 806, p. 150808-150808, article id 150808Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The Arctic terrestrial environment harbors a complex mosaic of mercury (Hg) and carbon (C) reservoirs, some of which are rapidly destabilizing in response to climate warming. The sources of riverine Hg across the Mackenzie River basin (MRB) are uncertain, which leads to a poor understanding of potential future release. Measurements of dissolved and particulate mercury (DHg, PHg) and carbon (DOC, POC) concentration were performed, along with analyses of Hg stable isotope ratios (incl. ∆199Hg, d202Hg), radiocarbon content (∆14C) and optical properties of DOC of river water. Isotopic ratios of Hg revealed a closer association to terrestrial Hg reservoirs for the particulate fraction, while the dissolved fraction was more closely associated with atmospheric deposition sources of shorter turnover time. There was a positive correlation between the ∆14C-OC and riverine Hg concentration for both particulate and dissolved fractions, indicating that waters transporting older-OC (14C-depleted) also contained higher levels of Hg. In the dissolved fraction, older DOC was also associated with higher molecular weight, aromaticity and humic content, which are likely associated with higher Hg-binding potential. Riverine PHg concentration increased with turbidity and SO4 concentration. There were large contrasts in Hg concentration and OC age and quality among the mountain and lowland sectors of the MRB, which likely reflect the spatial distribution of various terrestrial Hg and OC reservoirs, including weathering of sulfate minerals, erosion and extraction of coal deposits, thawing permafrost, forest fires, peatlands, and forests. Results revealed major differences in the sources of particulate and dissolved riverine Hg, but nonetheless a common positive association with older riverine OC. These findings reveal that a complex mixture of Hg sources, supplied across the MRB, will contribute to future trends in Hg export to the Arctic Ocean under rapid environmental changes.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2022. Vol. 806, p. 150808-150808, article id 150808
Keywords [en]
Pollution, Environmental Chemistry, Mercury, Arctic, Rivers, Isotopes
National Category
Environmental Sciences Geochemistry
Research subject
Diversity of life; Man and the environment
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:nrm:diva-4416DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.150808OAI: oai:DiVA.org:nrm-4416DiVA, id: diva2:1617719
Funder
Swedish Research Council Formas, 2017-00660Swedish Research Council FormasAvailable from: 2021-12-07 Created: 2021-12-07 Last updated: 2021-12-07Bibliographically approved

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Campeau, AudreySoerensen, Anne L.Zdanowicz, Christian
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