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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2018-1164
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2018-1164
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 04 Dec 2018

Research article | 04 Dec 2018

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP).

Characteristics of atmospheric mercury in East China: implication on sources and formation of mercury species over a regional transport intersection zone

Xiaofei Qin1, Xiaohao Wang2, Yijie Shi1, Guangyuan Yu1, Yanfen Lin2, Qingyan Fu2, Dongfang Wang2, Zhouqing Xie3, Congrui Deng1, and Kan Huang1 Xiaofei Qin et al.
  • 1Center for Atmospheric Chemistry Study, Shanghai Key Laboratory of Atmospheric Particle Pollution and Prevention (LAP3), Department of Environmental Science and Engineering, Fudan University, Shanghai, 200433 China
  • 2Shanghai Environmental Monitoring Center, Shanghai, 200030 China
  • 3School of Earth and Space Sciences, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, Anhui, 230026 China

Abstract. Mercury (Hg) is a global pollutant of great concern in East Asia, which is considered to be the largest mercury-emitting region in the world. In this study, atmospheric gaseous elemental mercury (GEM), gaseous oxidized mercury (GOM), and particulate-bound mercury (PBM) were measured continuously over a regional transport intersection zone in East China to reveal the sources and formation of mercury species. The annual mean concentrations of GEM, PBM, and GOM reached 2.77ng/m3, 60.80pg/m3, and 82.13pg/m3, respectively. GEM concentrations were elevated in both cold and warm seasons. This seasonal pattern of GEM suggested that the re-emissions from natural surfaces play a significant role in the fluctuation of atmospheric mercury in addition to anthropogenic sources. Relationship between Hg species and wind directions indicated the high Hg concentrations were related to winds from the south, southwest, and north of the measurement site. An application of the GOM/PBM tracer method and trajectory-based source region identification suggested that long-range transport from northern China and quasi-local emissions were the main sources of Hg species. It was revealed that GEM concentrations were higher when quasi-local sources dominated compared to the dominance of long-range transport events. Six sources and their contributions to anthropogenic GEM were identified. Besides the common anthropogenic emission sectors, shipping emission was found to be an important source (19.6%) of atmospheric mercury in East China, where marine vessel shipping activities are intense. Concurrences of high GOM concentrations with elevated O3 and temperature, along with the lagged variation of GEM and GOM during daytime demonstrated the very high GOM concentrations were ascribed to the intense in situ oxidation of GEM. Statistical analysis showed that when PM2.5 reached a certain value, GOM was inhibited to some extent due to the gas-particle partitioning process. This process was obvious under the conditions of high PM2.5 concentrations, high humidity, and low temperature.

Xiaofei Qin et al.
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The seasonal pattern of atmospheric mercury species over a regional transport intersection zone in East China indicated impacts from both natural re-emissions and anthropogenic emissions. Quasi-local sources were more important than long-range transport for mercury, opposite from particles. Shipping activities were especially outstanding emissions. Abnormally high GOM were ascribed to the high oxidant levels. The gas-particle partition inhibited the formation of GOM under high particle levels.
The seasonal pattern of atmospheric mercury species over a regional transport intersection zone...
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