Gaseous elemental mercury (GEM), particulate mercury (PHg) and reactive gaseous mercury (RGM) were measured every other hour at a rural location in south central Wisconsin (Devil's Lake State Park, WI, USA) between April 2003 and March 2004, and at a predominantly downwind urban site in southeastern Wisconsin (Milwaukee, WI, USA) between June 2004 and May 2005. Annual averages of GEM, PHg, and RGM at the urban site were statistically higher than those measured at the rural site. Pollution roses of GEM and reactive mercury (RM; sum of PHg and RGM) at the rural and urban sites revealed the influences of point source emissions in surrounding counties that were consistent with the US EPA 1999 National Emission Inventory and the 2003-2005 US EPA Toxics Release Inventory. Source-receptor relationships at both sites were studied by quantifying the impacts of point sources on mercury concentrations. Time series of GEM, PHg, and RGM concentrations were sorted into two categories; time periods dominated by impacts from point sources, and time periods dominated by mercury from non-point sources. The analysis revealed average point source contributions to GEM, PHg, and RGM concentration measurements to be significant over the year long studies. At the rural site, contributions to annual average concentrations were: GEM (2%; 0.04 ng m-3); and, RM (48%; 5.7 pg m-3). At the urban site, contributions to annual average concentrations were: GEM (33%; 0.81 ng m-3); and, RM (64%; 13.8 pg m-3). ?? The Royal Society of Chemistry.
Additional publication details
A comparison of speciated atmospheric mercury at an urban center and an upwind rural location