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Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Research article
01 Feb 2018
Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP).
Recent decrease trend of atmospheric mercury concentrations in East China: the influence of anthropogenic emissions
Yi Tang1,2, Shuxiao Wang1,2, Qingru Wu1,2, Kaiyun Liu1,2, Long Wang3, Shu Li1, Wei Gao4, Lei Zhang5, Haotian Zheng1,2, Zhijian Li1, and Jiming Hao1,2 1State Key Joint Laboratory of Environmental Simulation and Pollution Control, School of Environment, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
2State Environmental Protection Key Laboratory of Sources and Control of Air Pollution Complex, Beijing 100084, China
3School of Environment and Energy, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou, 510006, China
4Yangtze River Delta Center for Environmental Meteorology Prediction and Warning, Shanghai, 20030, China
5State Key Laboratory of Pollution Control & Resource Reuse, School of the Environment, Nanjing University, Nanjing, 210023, China
Abstract. Measurements of gaseous elemental Hg (GEM), other air pollutants including SO2, NOx, O3, PM2.5, CO, and meteorological conditions were carried out at Chongming Island in East China from March 1 in 2014 to December 31 in 2016. During the sampling period, GEM concentrations significantly decreased from 2.68 ± 1.07 ng m−3 in 2014 to 1.60 ± 0.56 ng m−3 in 2016. Monthly mean GEM concentrations showed a significant decrease with a rate of −0.60 ng m−3 yr−1 (R2 = 0.6389, p < 0.01 significance level). Combining the analysis of potential source contribution function (PSCF), principle component analysis (PCA), and emission inventory, we found that Yangtze River Delta (YRD) region was the dominant source region of atmospheric mercury in Chongming Island and the main source industries included coal-fired power plants, coal-fired industrial boilers, and cement clinker production. We further quantified the effect of emission change on the air Hg concentration variations at Chongming Island through a coupled method of trajectory clusters and air Hg concentrations. It was find that the reduction of domestic emissions was the main driver of GEM decline in Chongming Island, accounting for 66 % of the total decline. The results indicated that air pollution control policies targeting SO2, NOx and particulate matter reductions had significant co-benefits on atmospheric mercury.

Citation: Tang, Y., Wang, S., Wu, Q., Liu, K., Wang, L., Li, S., Gao, W., Zhang, L., Zheng, H., Li, Z., and Hao, J.: Recent decrease trend of atmospheric mercury concentrations in East China: the influence of anthropogenic emissions, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss.,, in review, 2018.
Yi Tang et al.
Yi Tang et al.


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Short summary
Three year measurements of atmospheric Hg were carried out at a rural site in East China. A significant downward trend were observed during the sampling period. Meanwhile, this study used a new approach that considers both cluster frequency and the Hg concentration associated with each cluster, and we quantified that atmospheric Hg from whole China region have caused 66 % decline of GEM concentrations at Chongming monitoring site due to strict air pollution control policy in China.
Three year measurements of atmospheric Hg were carried out at a rural site in East China. A...