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Partitioning and transport of total and methyl mercury in the Lower Fox River, Wisconsin

Environmental Science and Technology

By:
, , ,
DOI: 10.1021/es970685b

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Abstract

To investigate transport and partitioning processes of Hg(T) in the Fox River, we coupled detailed time series data of total mercury (Hg(T)) at the river mouth with transect sampling in the Lower Fox River. Unfiltered Hg(T) concentrations in the Fox River during the study period (April 1994-October 1995) ranged from 1.8 to 182 ng L(-1) with a median of 24.8 ng L-1, predominantly (93.6%) in the particulate phase. These levels were significantly elevated compared with other large tributaries to Lake Michigan (Hurley, J. P.; Shafer, M. M.; Cowell, S. E.; Overdier, J. T.; Hughes, P. E.; Armstrong, D. E. Environ. Sci. Technol. 1996, 30, 20932098). Transect sampling revealed progressively increasing water column Hg(T) concentrations and Hg(T) particulate enrichment downstream, which were consistent with trends in sediment Hg(T) levels in the river. Resuspended sediments are likely the predominant source of Hg from the Fox River into Green Bay. Despite elevated Hg(T) concentrations, methyl mercury (MeHg) concentrations were relatively low, suggesting limited bioavailability of Hg(T) associated with sediments.To investigate transport and partitioning processes of HgT in the Fox River, we coupled detailed time series data of total mercury (HgT) at the river mouth with transect sampling in the Lower Fox River. Unfiltered HgT concentrations in the Fox River during the study period (April 1994-October 1995) ranged from 1.8 to 182 ng L-1 with a median of 24.8 ng L-1, predominantly (93.6%) in the particulate phase. These levels were significantly elevated compared with other large tributaries to Lake Michigan. Transect sampling revealed progressively increasing water column HgT concentrations and HgT particulate enrichment downstream, which were consistent with trends in sediment HgT levels in the river. Resuspended sediments are likely the predominant source of Hg from the Fox River into Green Bay. Despite elevated HgT concentrations, methyl mercury (MeHg) concentrations were relatively low, suggesting limited bioavailability of HgT associated with sediments.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Partitioning and transport of total and methyl mercury in the Lower Fox River, Wisconsin
Series title:
Environmental Science and Technology
DOI:
10.1021/es970685b
Volume
32
Issue:
10
Year Published:
1998
Language:
English
Publisher:
ACS
Publisher location:
Washington, DC, United States
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Environmental Science and Technology
First page:
1424
Last page:
1432
Number of Pages:
9