Mercury flux to sediments of Lake Tahoe, California-Nevada
Figure 3: Scatterplot of elevation and mercury (Hg) washout coefficient for seven sites in California and Nevada. (93.15Kb)
Drevnick, Paul E.
Shinneman, Avery L. C.
Lamborg, Carl H.
Engstrom, Daniel R.
Bothner, Michael H.
Oris, James T.
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We report estimates of mercury (Hg) flux to the sediments of Lake Tahoe, California-Nevada: 2 and 15-20 µg/m2/yr in preindustrial and modern sediments, respectively. These values result in a modern to preindustrial flux ratio of 7.5-10, which is similar to flux ratios recently reported for other alpine lakes in California, and greater than the value of 3 typically seen worldwide. We offer plausible hypotheses to explain the high flux ratios, including (1) proportionally less photoreduction and evasion of Hg with the onset of cultural eutrophication and (2) a combination of enhanced regional oxidation of gaseous elemental Hg and transport of the resulting reactive gaseous Hg to the surface with nightly downslope flows of air. If either of these mechanisms is correct, it could lead to local/regional solutions to lessen the impact of globally increasing anthropogenic emissions of Hg on Lake Tahoe and other alpine ecosystems.
Author Posting. © The Author(s), 2009. This is the author's version of the work. It is posted here by permission of Springer for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Water, Air, & Soil Pollution 210 (2010): 399-407, doi:10.1007/s11270-009-0262-y.