Articles | Volume 11, issue 8
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 11, 3781–3788, 2011

Special issue: Atmospheric impacts of Eastern Asia megacities

Atmos. Chem. Phys., 11, 3781–3788, 2011

Research article 27 Apr 2011

Research article | 27 Apr 2011

Measurements of atmospheric mercury in Shanghai during September 2009

H. R. Friedli1, A. F. Arellano Jr.1,*, F. Geng2, C. Cai2, and L. Pan2 H. R. Friedli et al.
  • 1Atmospheric Chemistry Division, National Center for Atmospheric Research, P.O. Box 3000, Boulder, CO 80307, USA
  • 2Shanghai Meteorological Bureau, Shanghai 200135, China
  • *now at: Department of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Arizona, P.O. Box 210081, Tucson, AZ 85721, USA

Abstract. We report on total gaseous mercury (TGM) measurements made in Pudong, Shanghai in August/September 2009. The average TGM was 2.7 ± 1.7 ng m−3. This represents about 90% of the total atmospheric mercury. This is an underestimate for an annual-mean concentration because the meteorology in September favored predominantly easterly oceanic air, replaced in other seasons by airflow from industrial areas. The observed TGM follows a pattern seen in other cities around the world: a background elevated over mean hemispheric background (1.5 ng m−3), and pollution plumes of different magnitude and duration, interspersed with very sharp spikes of high concentration (60 ng m−3). The September 2009 Shanghai measurements are lower than those reported for most other Chinese cities and Mexico City, and similar to concentrations found in some Asian and in North American cities. Such comparisons are tenuous because of differences in season and year of the respective measurements. Our results should not be used for regulatory purposes. We find that the observed TGM are most likely coming from coal fired power plants, smelters and industrial sources, based on its high correlation with NOx, SO2, CO and wind directions.

Final-revised paper