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Science. 1986 Mar 7;231(4742):1131-3.

Sea-air partitioning of mercury in the equatorial pacific ocean.


The partitioning of gaseous mercury between the atmosphere and surface waters was determined in the equatorial Pacific Ocean. The highest concentrations of dissolved gaseous mercury occurred in cooler, nutrient-rich waters that characterize equatorial upwelling and increased biological productivity at the sea surface. The surface waters were supersaturated with respect to elemental mercury; a significant flux of elemental mercury to the atmosphere is predicted for the equatorial Pacific. When normalized to primary production on a global basis, the ocean effluxes of mercury may rival anthropogenic emissions of mercury to the atmosphere.

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