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Long-term monitoring of atmospheric total gaseous mercury (TGM) at a remote site in Mt. Changbai area, northeastern China

Author(s): X. W. Fu | X. Feng | L. H. Shang | S. F. Wang | H. Zhang

Journal: Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Discussions
ISSN 1680-7367

Volume: 12;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 4417;
Date: 2012;
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Total gaseous mercury (TGM) was continuously monitored at a remote site (CBS) in the Mt. Changbai area, northeastern China biennially from 24 October 2008 to 31 October 2010. The overall mean TGM concentration was 1.60 ± 0.51 ng m−3, which is lower than those reported from remote sites in eastern, southwestern and western China, indicating a relatively low regional anthropogenic mercury (Hg) emission intensity in northeastern China. Measurements at a site in the vicinity (~1.2 km) of the CBS station during August 2005 and July 2006 showed a significantly higher mean TGM concentration of 3.58 ± 1.78 ng m−3. The divergent result was partially attributed to fluctuations in the regional surface wind system and moreover an effect of local emission sources. The temporal variation of TGM at CBS was obviously influenced by regional sources as well as long-range transported Hg. Regional sources, frequently contributing to episodical high TGM concentrations, were pinpointed as a large iron mining district in northern North Korea and two large power plants and urban areas to the southwest of the sampling site. Source areas in Beijing, Tianjin, southern Liaoning, Hebei, northwestern Shanxi and northwestern Shandong were found to contribute to elevated TGM observations at CBS via long-range transport. The diurnal pattern of TGM at CBS was mainly regulated by regional sources, likely as well as intrusion of air masses from the free troposphere during summer season. There are no discernible seasonal pattern of TGM at CBS, which mainly showed links with the patterns of regional air movements and long-range transport.
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