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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2018-806
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2018-806
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 10 Sep 2018

Research article | 10 Sep 2018

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

First Measurement of Atmospheric Mercury Species in Qomolangma Nature Preserve, Tibetan Plateau, and Evidence of Transboundary Pollutant Invasion

Huiming Lin1, Yindong Tong2, Xiufeng Yin3,4,5, Qianggong Zhang4,6, Hui Zhang7, Haoran Zhang1, Long Chen8, Shichang Kang3,5,6, Wei Zhang9, James Schauer10,11, Benjamin de Foy12, Xiaoge Bu2, and Xuejun Wang1 Huiming Lin et al.
  • 1MOE Laboratory of Earth Surface Processes, College of Urban and Environmental Sciences, Peking University, Beijing, 100871, China
  • 2School of Environmental Science and Engineering, Tianjin University, Tianjin, 300072, China
  • 3State Key Laboratory of Cryospheric Science, Northwest Institute of Eco-Environment and Resources, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou, 730000, China
  • 4Key Laboratory of Tibetan Environment Changes and Land Surface Processes, Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100101, China
  • 5University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100039, China
  • 6CAS Center for Excellence in Tibetan Plateau Earth Sciences, Beijing, 100085, China
  • 7State Key Laboratory of Environmental Geochemistry, Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guiyang, 550002, China
  • 8School of Geographic Sciences, East China Normal University, Shanghai, 200241, China
  • 9School of Environment and Natural Resources, Renmin University of China, Beijing, 100872, China
  • 10Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Madison, WI, 53706, USA
  • 11Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene, University of Wisconsin-Madison, WI, 53706, USA
  • 12Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Saint Louis University, MO, 63108, USA

Abstract. Located in the world’s ‘Third Pole’ and a remote region connecting the Indian Ocean plate and the Eurasian plate, Qomolangma National Nature Preserve (QNNP) is an ideal region to study the long-range transport of atmospheric pollutants. In this study, gaseous elemental mercury (GEM), gaseous oxidized mercury (GOM) and particle-bound mercury (PBM) were continuously measured during the Indian monsoon transition period in QNNP. A slight increase in GEM concentration was observed from the period preceding the Indian Summer Monsoon (1.31±0.42ngm−3) to the Indian Summer Monsoon period (1.44±0.36ngm−3), while significant decreases were observed in GOM and PBM concentrations, decreasing from 35.2±18.7 to 19.1±11.0pgm−3 and from 30.5±12.6 to 24.7±19.9pgm−3, respectively. A unique daily pattern of GEM concentration in QNNP was observed, with a peak value before sunrise and a low value at noon. Unexpectedly, GOM concentrations (with a mean value of 21.3±13.5pgm−3) in this region were considerably higher than the values in other clean or even polluted regions. A cluster analysis indicated that the air masses transported to QNNP changed significantly at different stages of the monsoon, and the major potential Hg sources shifted from north India and west Nepal to east Nepal and Bangladesh. With large coverage of glacier in QNNP, local glacier winds could enforce the transboundary transport of pollutants and transport the polluted air masses to the Tibetan Plateau. It should be noted that the atmospheric Hg concentrations in QNNP are higher than the reported values in some background regions, which addresses the need for a more specific identification of Hg sources in QNNP and the importance of international cooperation for global Hg controls.

Huiming Lin et al.
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Located in the world’s ‘Third Pole’ and a remote region connecting the Indian Ocean plate and the Eurasian plate, Qomolangma National Nature Preserve is an ideal region to study the long-range transport of atmospheric pollutants. Covering both the preceding-Indian Summer Monsoon and ISM periods, our measurement and modeling results have addressed the need for a more specific identification of Hg sources in this region and the importance of international cooperations for global Hg controls.
Located in the world’s ‘Third Pole’ and a remote region connecting the Indian Ocean plate...
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