Mercury deposition in Southern New Hampshire, 2006–2009
Abstract. The atmospheric deposition of mercury (Hg) occurs via several mechanisms including wet, dry, and occult processes. In an effort to understand the atmospheric cycling and seasonal depositional characteristics of Hg, event-based wet deposition samples and reactive gaseous Hg (RGM) measurements were collected for approximately 3 years at Thompson Farm (TF), a near-coastal rural site in Durham, NH, part of the University of New Hampshire AIRMAP Observing Network. Total aqueous mercury exhibited seasonal patterns in Hg wet deposition at TF. The lowest Hg wet deposition was measured in the winter with an average total seasonal deposition of 1.56 μg m−2 compared to the summer average of 4.71 μg m−2. Inter-annual differences in total wet deposition are generally linked with precipitation volume, with the greatest deposition occurring in the wettest year. Relationships between surface level RGM and Hg wet deposition were also investigated based on continuous RGM measurements at TF from November 2006 to September 2009. No correlations were observed between RGM mixing ratios and Hg wet deposition, however the ineffective scavenging of RGM during winter precipitation events was evidenced by the less frequent depletion of RGM below the detection level. Seasonal dry deposition of reactive gaseous Hg (RGM) was estimated using an order-of-magnitude approach. RGM mixing ratios and dry deposition estimates were greatest during the winter and spring. The seasonal ratios of Hg wet deposition to RGM dry deposition vary by up to a factor of 80.