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Mar Pollut Bull. 2018 Mar;128:428-437. doi: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2018.01.058. Epub 2018 Feb 6.

Sedimentary mercury (Hg) in the marginal seas adjacent to Chinese high-Hg emissions: Source-to-sink, mass inventory, and accumulation history.

Author information

1
Department of Marine Environmental Science, University of Science & Technology, Daejeon 305-320, Republic of Korea; South Sea Research Institute, Korea Institute of Ocean Science & Technology, Geoje 53201, Republic of Korea.
2
Department of Marine Environmental Science, University of Science & Technology, Daejeon 305-320, Republic of Korea; South Sea Research Institute, Korea Institute of Ocean Science & Technology, Geoje 53201, Republic of Korea. Electronic address: oceanlim@kiost.ac.kr.
3
South Sea Research Institute, Korea Institute of Ocean Science & Technology, Geoje 53201, Republic of Korea.
4
Department of Marine Geology and Geophysics, Korea Institute of Ocean Science & Technology, 385 Haeyang-ro, Yeongdo-gu, Busan, Republic of Korea.
5
Key Laboratory of Marine Geology and Environment, Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Qingdao 266071, China; Laboratory for Marine Geology, Qingdao National Laboratory for Marine Science and Technology, Qingdao 266061, China. Electronic address: zhaokaixu@qdio.ac.cn.

Abstract

We comprehensively investigated sedimentary Hg in Yellow and East China Seas (YECSs), which constitute potentially important depocenters for large anthropogenic Hg emissions from mainland China. A large dataset of Al-TOC-Hg concentrations led to an in-depth understanding of sedimentary Hg in the entire YECSs, including distribution and its determinants, source-to-sink, background levels, inventory in flux and budget, and accumulation history. Especially, the net atmospheric Hg flux to the sediments was estimated to be 1.3 × 10-5 g/m2/yr, which corresponded reasonably well to that calculated using a box model. About 21.2 tons of atmospheric Hg (approximately 4% of the total anthropogenic atmospheric Hg emissions from China) were buried annually in the YECS basin. This result implies that most of atmospheric Hg from China is transferred to the surface of the Pacific (including the East/Japan Sea and South China Sea) by the westerlies and, consequently, can play a critical role in open-sea aquatic ecosystems.

KEYWORDS:

Atmospheric deposition; Mercury inventory; Pacific marginal sea; Sedimentary mercury

PMID:
29571393
DOI:
10.1016/j.marpolbul.2018.01.058
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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