Mercury

Arctic mercury export flux with marine particles higher than anticipated

In the ocean, the residence time of mercury (Hg), is largely driven by two removal mechanisms: evasion to the atmosphere and downward export flux with settling particles. The later was particularly poorly constrained in the Arctic Ocean, as was the Hg burial rate into the sediment. Using samples collected during the German GEOTRACES TransArcII (GN04) […]

May / 06 / 2020

Who produces methylmercury in the global ocean?

The UNEP Minamata Convention was ratified in August 2017 and aims to protect human health from mercury exposure by reducing anthropogenic, inorganic, mercury emissions. The most toxic and biomagnifying mercury species, methylmercury, is not emitted from anthropogenic or natural sources, but produced in the ocean from inorganic mercury. Marine mercury methylation has been confirmed for […]

Mar / 18 / 2020

Methylmercury subsurface maxima explain mercury accumulation in Canadian Arctic marine mammals

Mercury (Hg) concentrations in Canadian Arctic marine mammals were monitored during the last four decades and found to be highly elevated, frequently exceeding toxicity thresholds. Mercury concentrations in marine biota are also found to be generally higher in the western part of the Canadian Arctic than in the east. Thanks to the Canadian Arctic GEOTRACES […]

Nov / 05 / 2018

High production of methylmercury in the anoxic waters of the Black Sea

As part of the GEOTRACES MedBlack cruise, the research vessel Pelagia occupied 12 full-depth stations in the Black Sea along an East-West transect between July 13th and 25th, 2013. In the permanently anoxic waters of the Black Sea, a high fraction (up to 57%) of total mercury (HgT) was found to be methylmercury (MeHg). These […]

Apr / 30 / 2018

Arctic rivers are discharging organic matter enriched in mercury to the Labrador Sea

In the framework of GEOVIDE-GEOTRACES GA01 cruise (spring 2014), Cossa and co-workers (see reference below) measured the first high-resolution mercury (Hg) distribution pattern along a transect from Greenland to Labrador coasts. An interesting feature is the observation of Hg enrichment originating from fluvial sources in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago waters. This excess Hg is transferred […]

Apr / 09 / 2018

Up to four mercury species measured along the GEOTRACES East Pacific Zonal Transect

Total mercury (HgT), elemental mercury (Hg0), monomethyl-mercury (MMHg), and dimethyl-mercury (DMHg) were measured at an unprecedent resolution so far along the East Pacific Zonal Transect (EPZT) GEOTRACES cruise (GP16). Knowing that MMHg is a neurotoxin that accumulates in the trophic chain, establishing the full speciation of this element is required in order to better understand […]

Jan / 16 / 2017

All mercury species measured along the GEOTRACES-UK section, South Atlantic Ocean

Total mercury (THg), methylated mercury (MeHg), and dissolved gaseous mercury (DGM) concentrations were determined along 40°S in the Atlantic Ocean. All Hg species had higher concentrations in western than in eastern basin, although they are at the ultra-low femtomolar level. MeHg increases with lower oxygen concentration, substantiating that microbial respiration of organic matter stimulates MeHg […]

May / 13 / 2016

Shallow methylmercury production in the marginal sea ice zone of the central Arctic Ocean

Understanding persistent high levels of mercury in arctic biota has been an elusive goal for nearly two decades. Little is known about where exactly inorganic Hg inputs into the Arctic generate the toxic methylmercury (MeHg) form that bioaccumulates in biota. Lars-Eric Heimbürger and colleagues (2015, see reference below) present the first full-depth high resolution profiles […]

May / 20 / 2015

Field data constrain ocean mercury budget

Thanks to recent measurements during several oceanographic expeditions, among them GEOTRACES cruises, estimates of the total amount and spatial distribution of anthropogenic mercury in the global ocean were substantially improved. Global budgets of total mercury suggest that there has been a tripling of the surface water mercury content and a ~150% increase in the amount […]

Sep / 08 / 2014

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