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Total mercury (THg) and monomethylmercury (MMHg) concentrations as well as mercury (Hg) isotope ratios were determined in sediment cores sampled from six locations from the Canadian Arctic Archipelago (CAA). At most sites, THg concentrations showed a decreasing trend with depth, ranging from 5 to 61 ng/g, implicating possible increased Hg deposition and/or riverine inputs in top sediment layers. MMHg values showed large oscillations within the top 10 cm of the cores. This variability decreased at the bottom of the cores with MMHg concentrations ranging from less than12 to up to 1073 pg/g. Average concentrations of THg and MMHg in the top 10 cm were linearly correlated, whereas no correlation was observed with organic matter (loss on ignition). Mercury isotope ratios showed negative values for both δHg (-1.59 to -0.55‰) and ΔHg (-0.62 to -0.01‰). δHg values became more negative with depth, while the opposite was observed for ΔHg. The former is consistent with predicted historical atmospheric Hg trends as a result of increased coal burning worldwide. Hg isotope ratio measurements in CAA sediments offer additional opportunities to trace Hg processes and sources in the Arctic.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: The Science of the total environment
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Stable mercury atoms that have the same atomic number as the element mercury, but differ in atomic weight. Hg-196, 198-201, and 204 are stable mercury isotopes.
Poisoning that results from chronic or acute ingestion, injection, inhalation, or skin absorption of MERCURY or MERCURY COMPOUNDS.
Unstable isotopes of mercury that decay or disintegrate emitting radiation. Hg atoms with atomic weights 185-195, 197, 203, 205, and 206 are radioactive mercury isotopes.
A silver metallic element that exists as a liquid at room temperature. It has the atomic symbol Hg (from hydrargyrum, liquid silver), atomic number 80, and atomic weight 200.59. Mercury is used in many industrial applications and its salts have been employed therapeutically as purgatives, antisyphilitics, disinfectants, and astringents. It can be absorbed through the skin and mucous membranes which leads to MERCURY POISONING. Because of its toxicity, the clinical use of mercury and mercurials is diminishing.
Inorganic compounds that contain mercury as an integral part of the molecule.