Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 12, 18133-18161, 2012
© Author(s) 2012. This work is distributed
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This discussion paper has been under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP). Please refer to the corresponding final paper in ACP.
Dynamic recycling of gaseous elemental mercury in the boundary layer of the Antarctic Plateau
A. Dommergue1, M. Barret1, J. Courteaud1, P. Cristofanelli2, C. P. Ferrari1, and H. Gallée1
1UJF – Grenoble 1, UMR5183, CNRS – Laboratoire de Glaciologie et Géophysique de l'Environnement (LGGE), Grenoble, 38041, France
2Institute for Atmospheric Science and Climate, National Research Council, Bologna, Italy

Abstract. Gaseous elemental mercury (Hg(0)) was investigated in the troposphere and in the interstitial air extracted from the snow at Dome Concordia station (alt. 3320 m) on the Antarctic Plateau during January 2009. Measurements showed evidence of a very dynamic and daily cycling of Hg(0) inside the mixing layer with a range of values from 0.2 ng m−3 up to 2.3 ng m−3. During low solar irradiation periods, fast Hg(0) oxidation processes in a confined layer were observed leading to an enrichment of the upper snow layers in divalent Hg. Unexpectedly high Hg(0) concentrations for such a remote place were measured under higher solar irradiation due to the reemission of Hg(0) by the snowpack via photochemical reactions. Hg(0) concentrations showed a negative correlation with ozone mixing ratios, which contrasts with atmospheric mercury depletion events observed during the Arctic spring. It remains unclear whether halogens are involved in Hg(0) oxidation. We suggest that snow surfaces may play a role in promoting the heterogeneous oxidation of Hg(0). The cycling of other oxidants should be investigated together with Hg in order to clarify the complex reactivity on the Antarctic Plateau.

Citation: Dommergue, A., Barret, M., Courteaud, J., Cristofanelli, P., Ferrari, C. P., and Gallée, H.: Dynamic recycling of gaseous elemental mercury in the boundary layer of the Antarctic Plateau, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 12, 18133-18161, doi:10.5194/acpd-12-18133-2012, 2012.
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