Istituto di Biofisica     
Fantozzi L., Ferrara R., Frontini F. P., Dini F. Factors influencing the daily behaviour of dissolved gaseous mercury concentration in the Mediterranean Sea. In: Marine Chemistry, vol. 107 (1) pp. 4 - 12. Elsevier, 2007.
Mercury evasional fluxes from the sea surface into the atmosphere play an important role in the Hg biogeochemical cycle, especially in the Mediterranean basin, which is characterized by the presence of large cinnabar deposits, intense solar radiation and high temperatures for many months of the year. Since the available experimental methodologies to measure mercury flux can be used only in good weather conditions, at present it is necessary to make use of exchange models that require the knowledge of the dissolved gaseous mercury (DGM) concentration in seawater. In this paper, the main factors affecting DGM levels are discussed considering the determination of the DGM daily behaviour in different meteo-marine and weather conditions at coastal and offshore locations of the Mediterranean basin. A fully automatic device for continuous analyses of DGM concentration with a high time resolution was used. Results show that the daily trend of DGM concentration tracks that of the solar radiation intensity, often mapping the movement of the clouds. DGM levels can be decreased by the presence of high winds that increase mercury evasion from the water surface, as well as by the mixing of the surface water layer. The presence of high levels of dissolved organic matter favours the photo-induced reduction of mercury as observed by the measurements performed in a lagoon water.
DOI: 10.1016/j.marchem.2007.02.008
Subject Mercury
Mediterranean Sea

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