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Impact of mercury atmospheric deposition on soils and streams in a mountainous catchment (Vosges, France) polluted by chlor-alkali industrial activity: The important trapping role of the organic matter

Hissler, Christophe and Probst, Jean-Luc Impact of mercury atmospheric deposition on soils and streams in a mountainous catchment (Vosges, France) polluted by chlor-alkali industrial activity: The important trapping role of the organic matter. (2006) Science of the Total Environment, vol. 3 (n° 1-3). pp. 163-178. ISSN 0048-9697

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2005.05.023

Abstract

Total atmospheric Hg contamination in a French mountainous catchment upstream from a chlor-alkali industrial site was assessed using Hg concentrations in the deepest soil horizon, in the stream bottom sediments, in river waters and in bryophytes. The natural background level of Hg content deriving from rock weathering was estimated to 32 ng g1 in the deepest soil layers. The soils appear to be Hg contaminated in two stages: atmospheric deposition and leaching through the soil profiles of Hg-organic matter complexes. The Hg enrichment factor (EFHgSc) which could be calculated by normalization to a conservative element like Sc, allows to estimate the major contribution (63% to 95%) of the atmospheric inputs, even in the upper part of the basin. This contribution may be attributed to diffuse regional atmospheric deposition of Hg and is mainly due to the geographic location of the chlor-alkali plant. This study shows for the first time that the mercury enrichment is proportional to the carbon content indicating that most of the atmospheric mercury deposition is trapped by the organic matter contained in the soils and in the stream sediments. The Hg stock in the soils of the upper catchment and the soil erosion contribution to the riverine Hg fluxes are estimated for the first time and allow to assess the Hg residence time. It indicates that Hg is trapped in the soils of such a polluted catchment for probably several thousand years.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:Thanks to Elsevier. The definitive version is available on : http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/00489697
Audience (journal):International peer-reviewed journal
Uncontrolled Keywords:
Institution: Université de Toulouse > Institut National Polytechnique de Toulouse - INPT
French research institutions > Institut de Recherche pour le Développement - IRD
Université de Toulouse > Université Paul Sabatier-Toulouse III - UPS
French research institutions > Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - CNRS
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Deposited By:Florence Amor

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