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Seasonal and diel variation of atmospheric mercury concentrations in the Reno (Nevada, USA) airshed
Atmospheric Environment
  • Jelena Stamenkovic
  • Seth Lyman, Utah State University
  • Mae S. Gustin
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This paper describes total gaseous mercury (TGM) concentrations measured in Reno, Nevada from 2002 to 2005. The 3-year mean and median air Hg concentrations were 2.3 and 2.1 ng m−3, respectively. Mercury concentrations exhibited seasonality, with the highest concentrations in winter, and the lowest in summer and fall. A well-defined diel pattern in TGM concentration was observed, with maximum daily concentrations observed in the morning and minimum in the afternoon. A gradual increase of TGM concentration was observed in the evening and over night. The early morning increase in TGM was likely due to activation of local surface emission sources by rising solar irradiance and air temperature. The subsequent decline and afternoon minimum in TGM were likely related to increased vertical mixing and the buildup of atmospheric oxidants during the day resulting in increased conversion to oxidized species that are quickly deposited, coupled with weakening of the surface emissions processes. The described diel pattern was seasonally modulated with the greatest amplitude in variation of TGM concentrations occurring in the summer. It is suggested based on the comparison of diel TGM pattern with other gaseous pollutants that natural source surface emissions are a dominant source of TGM in the study area.
Citation Information
Stamenkovic J., Lyman S., Gustin M.S., 2007. Seasonal and diel variation of atmospheric mercury concentrations in the Reno (Nevada, USA) airshed. Atmospheric Environment 41, 6662-6672.