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  07 Jan 2021

07 Jan 2021

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal ACP.

Isotopic compositions of atmospheric total gaseous mercury in ten Chinese cities and implications for land surface emissions

Xuewu Fu1,2, Chen Liu1,3, Hui Zhang1,3, Yue Xu1, Hui Zhang1, Jun Li4, Xiaopu Lyu5, Gan Zhang4, Hai Guo5, Xun Wang1, Leiming Zhang6, and Xinbin Feng1,2,3 Xuewu Fu et al.
  • 1State Key Laboratory of Environmental Geochemistry, Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guiyang, 550081, China
  • 2CAS Center for Excellence in Quaternary Science and Global Change, Xi'an, 710061, China
  • 3University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100049, China
  • 4State Key Laboratory of Organic Geochemistry, Guangzhou Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou, 510640, China
  • 5Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, China
  • 6Air Quality Research Division, Science and Technology Branch, Environment and Climate Change Canada, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Abstract. Land surface emissions are an important source of atmospheric total gaseous mercury (TGM), however, its role on the variations of TGM isotopic compositions and concentrations has not been properly evaluated. In this study, TGM isotope compositions, a powerful tracer for sources and transformation of Hg, were measured at ten urban sites and one rural site in China. TGM concentrations were higher in summer than in winter in most cities except in Guiyang and Guangzhou in the low latitudes. The summertime high TGM concentrations were coincided with prevailing low TGM δ202Hg and high TGM Δ199Hg signatures. These seasonal patterns were in contrast with those typically observed in rural areas in the Northern Hemisphere, suggesting atmospheric oxidation chemistry, vegetation activity as well as residential coal combustion were not likely the dominant mechanisms contributing to the TGM concentration and isotopic composition seasonality in Chinese cities. The amplitudes of seasonal variations in TGM concentrations and Δ199Hg (or TGM δ202Hg) were significantly positively (or negatively) correlated with that of the simulated soil GEM emission flux. These results suggest that the seasonal variations in TGM isotopic compositions and concentrations in the ten Chinese cities were likely controlled by land surface emissions that were observed or reported with highly negative δ202Hg signatures.

Xuewu Fu et al.

Status: open (until 04 Mar 2021)

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Xuewu Fu et al.


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