Air-sea exchange of volatile mercury in the North Atlantic Ocean
Journal article, 2011

Part of the Beringia 2005 expedition covered the North Atlantic Ocean. During this passage, dissolved gaseous mercury (DGHg) in seawater and atmospheric concentrations of total gaseous mercury (TGHg), carbon monoxide (CO), and ozone (O-3) were measured continuously at high resolution. In addition, meteorological parameters such as wind speed and water temperature were measured continuously by the ship's meteorological instrumentation. The DGHg concentration was measured using a continuous equilibrium system where the elemental mercury in the sea water was equilibrated with a stream of gas. The DGHg concentration was calculated using DGHg=Hg-eq/k(H), where Hg-eq is the concentration of elemental mercury in the equilibrated air and k(H), is the dimensionless Henry's law constant. The degree of saturation was determined directly from the measurements S = Hg-eq/TGHg. The water sampled had an average DGHg concentration of 58 +/- 10 fM and the average TGHg concentration was determined to 1.7 +/- 0.1 ng m(-3). The water sampled was under- and super-saturated with respect to elemental mercury covering a large range of saturation of 70 to 230% resulting in an average degree of saturation of 150 +/- 30%. Therefore, both evasion and deposition of elemental mercury were observed in the sampled water. In the light of the average flux, 2.1 +/- 1.8 pmol m(-2) h(-1), it is concluded that mostly evasion occured during the sampling period. (C) 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


surface waters

mediterranean sea

In situ measurements


elemental mercury

Gas exchange




Water measurements


North Atlantic

Air measurements

atmospheric mercury

equatorial atlantic


term measurements

humic substances

dissolved gaseous mercury



Maria Andersson

University of Gothenburg

J. Sommar

Chinese Academy of Sciences

Katarina Gårdfeldt

Chalmers, Chemical and Biological Engineering, Environmental Inorganic Chemistry

S. Jutterstrom

University of Gothenburg

Marine Chemistry

0304-4203 (ISSN)

Vol. 125 1-4 1-7

Subject Categories

Chemical Sciences



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