17 Jun 2021

17 Jun 2021

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

Speciated atmospheric mercury at Waliguan Global Atmospheric Watch station in the northeastern Tibetan Plateau: implication of dust related sources for particulate bound mercury

Hui Zhang1, Xuewu Fu1,2, Ben Yu3, Baoxin Li4, Peng Liu4, Guoqing Zhang4, Leiming Zhang5, and Xinbin Feng1,2,6 Hui Zhang et al.
  • 1State Key Laboratory of Environmental Geochemistry, Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 99 Lincheng West Road, Guiyang, 550081, China
  • 2CAS Center for Excellence in Quaternary Science and Global Change, Xi’an, 710061, China
  • 3State Key Laboratory of Environmental Chemistry and Ecotoxicology, Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100085, China
  • 4China Global Atmosphere Watch Baseline Observatory, Qinghai Meteorological Bureau, Xining, 810001, China
  • 5Air Quality Research Division, Science and Technology Branch, Environment and Climate Change Canada, Toronto, M3H5T4, Canada
  • 6University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100049, China

Abstract. To understand the ambient levels and sources of atmospheric mercury (Hg) in the Tibetan Plateau, a full-year continuous measurement of speciated atmospheric mercury was conducted at Waliguan (WLG) Baseline Observatory (3816 m a.s.l.) from May 2012 to April 2013. Mean concentrations (±1 SD) of gaseous elemental mercury (GEM), gaseous oxidized mercury (GOM) and particulate bound mercury (PBM) during the whole study period were 1.90 ± 0.80 ng m−3, 12.0 ± 10.6 pg m−3 and 65.4 ± 63.2 pg m−3, respectively. Seasonal variations of GEM were very small, while those of PBM were quite large with mean values being four times higher in cold (102.3 ± 66.7 pg m−3) than warm (22.8 ± 14.6 pg m−3) season. Anthropogenic emissions to the east of Tibetan Plateau contributed significantly to GEM pollution at WLG, while dust particles originated from desert and Gobi regions in Xinjiang province and Tibetan Plateau to the west of WLG were responsible to PBM pollution at WLG. This finding is also supported by the significant positive correlation between daily PBM concentration and daily cumulative absorbing aerosol index (AAI) encountered by air masses transported during the preceding two days.

Hui Zhang et al.

Status: open (until 29 Jul 2021)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on acp-2021-290', Anonymous Referee #2, 09 Jul 2021 reply
  • RC2: 'Comment on acp-2021-290', Yanxu Zhang, 09 Jul 2021 reply

Hui Zhang et al.


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Short summary
Our observations of speciated atmospheric Hg at Waliguan GAW Observatory found the concentrations gaseous elemental mercury (GEM) and particulate bound mercury (PBM) were elevated as compared to the Northern Hemisphere background. We propose that the major sources of GEM and PBM were mainly related to anthropogenic emissions and desert dust related sources, respectively. This study highlights that dust related sources played an important role in the variations of PBM in the Tibetan Plateau.