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Recent increases in atmospheric deposition of mercury to North-Central Wisconsin lakes inferred from sediment analyses

Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology

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, , , and
DOI: 10.1007/BF01056202

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Abstract

Profiles of total mercury (Hg) concentrations in sediments were examined in 11 lakes in north-central Wisconsin having a broad range of pH (5.1 to 7.8) and alkalinity (-12 to 769 μeq/L). Mercury concentrations were greatest in the top 15 cm of the cores and were much lower in the deeper strata. The Hg content in the most enriched stratum of individual cores ranged from 0.09 to 0.24 μg/g dry weight, whereas concentrations in deep, precolonial strata ranged from 0.04 to 0.07 μg/g. Sediment enrichment factors varied from 0.8 to 2.8 and were not correlated with lake pH. The increase in the Hg content of recent sediments was attributed to increased atmospheric deposition of the metal. Eight of the 11 systems studied were low-alkalinity lakes that presumably received most (≥90%) of their hydrologic input from precipitation falling directly onto the lake surface. Thus, the sedimentary Hg in these lakes seems more likely linked to direct atmospheric deposition onto the lake surfaces than to influxes from the watershed. The data imply that a potentially significant fraction of the high Hg burdens measured in game fish in certain lakes in north-central Wisconsin originated from atmospheric sources.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Recent increases in atmospheric deposition of mercury to North-Central Wisconsin lakes inferred from sediment analyses
Series title:
Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology
DOI:
10.1007/BF01056202
Volume
18
Issue:
1-2
Year Published:
1989
Language:
English
Publisher:
Springer
Publisher location:
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Contributing office(s):
Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center
Description:
7 p.
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology
First page:
175
Last page:
181
Country:
United States
State:
Wisconsin