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Atmospheric mercury deposition and mercury stable isotope compositions in peat bogs.

Enrico, Maxime. Atmospheric mercury deposition and mercury stable isotope compositions in peat bogs. PhD, Hydrologie, Hydrochimie, Sols et Environnement, Institut National Polytechnique de Toulouse, 2015

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Abstract

During the past few decades, peatlands were successfully used to investigate historical mercury (Hg) deposition. The chronology of Hg accumulation rates (HgARs) to peatlands is well constrained, with recent increases in HgAR associated with anthropogenic Hg emissions and deposition. The use of Hg stable isotopes in peatland ecosystems provides new opportunities to better characterize and understand historical Hg deposition. In an extensive study conducted at the Pinet peat bog (French Pyrenees) we identify gaseous elemental Hg (GEM) dry deposition, via foliar uptake, as the dominant Hg transfer pathway from the atmosphere to peat vegetation. Based on the Hg isotope analysis of multiple northern hemispheric peat records, we find that GEM dry deposition dominates Hg deposition globally. We suggest that peatlands can be used as archives of both past Hg wet deposition, Hg dry deposition and GEM concentration. We present the first quantitative reconstruction of historical atmospheric GEM concentrations using peat archives from the Pyrenees. The Human impact on Hg cycling caused a gradual increase in GEM concentrations from 0.2 (10,000 – 4000 BP) to 3.5 ng m-3 (20th Century) and was accompanied by a change in atmospheric Hg isotope signatures. This first comprehensive study on Hg isotope deposition to peatlands is promising and should be extended to pre-anthropogenic times to investigate natural variations in atmospheric Hg dynamics during the Holocene.

Item Type:PhD Thesis
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Institution:Université de Toulouse > Institut National Polytechnique de Toulouse - INPT (FRANCE)
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Research Director:
Le Roux, Gaël and Sonke, Jeroen E.
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Deposited By: Thèse INPT
Deposited On:07 Apr 2017 08:23

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