E3S Web of Conferences (Apr 2013)

Preliminary results from a continuous record of atmospheric gaseous mercury at the coastal station Dumont d’Urville in Antarctica

  • Dommergue A.,
  • Vogel N.,
  • Ferrari C. P.,
  • Magand O.,
  • Barret M.

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 1
p. 27005


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While the tropospheric reactivity of mercury (Hg) in the Arctic is more and more documented only a few attempts were made to study the Hg cycle in the Southern Polar Regions. The role of the Antarctic continent and its influence on the global geochemical cycle of mercury is unclear today, and is certainly under evaluated by current models. Here, we present the first continuous high-time-resolution measurements of atmospheric gaseous elemental mercury (GEM) in East Antarctica from February 2010 to March 2011 at the coastal research station Dumont d’Urville (DDU) (66°40’S, 140°01’E, 43 m asl). We report an annual mean level of 1.062 ± 0.321 ng/m3 with well-marked daily fluctuations from October to January. An intense reactivity originated from the atmospheric boundary layer of the Antarctic plateau under sunlight conditions is observed at DDU. Partly GEM-depleted air masses are exported from the continent and dramatically influence the GEM record at DDU. From November to January, surface waters of the Southern Ocean are an important source of GEM.