Snow was sampled and analyzed for total mercury (THg) on the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory (INEEL) and surrounding region prior to the start-up of a large (9-11 g/h) gaseous mercury emission source. The objective was to determine the effects of the source on local and regional atmospheric deposition of mercury. Snow samples collected from 48 points on a polar grid near the source had THg concentrations that ranged from 4.71 to 27.26 ng/L; snow collected from regional background sites had THg concentrations that ranged from 0.89 to 16.61 ng/L. Grid samples had higher concentrations than the regional background sites, which was unexpected because the source was not operating yet. Emission of Hg from soils is a possible source of Hg in snow on the INEEL. Evidence from Hg profiles in snow and from unfiltered/filtered split samples supports this hypothesis. Ongoing work on the INEEL is investigating Hg fluxes from soils and snow.
Additional publication details
Mercury accumulation in snow on the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory and surrounding region, southeast Idaho, USA