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Natural mercury levels in geological enriched and geological active areas: case study of Katun river and lake Teletskoye, Altai (Siberia)
Baeyens, W.; Dehandschutter, B.; Leermakers, M.; Bobrov, V. A.; Hus, R.; Baeyens-Volant, D. (2003). Natural mercury levels in geological enriched and geological active areas: case study of Katun river and lake Teletskoye, Altai (Siberia). Water Air Soil Pollut. 142(1-4): 375-393. dx.doi.org/10.1023/A:1022099410739
In: Water, Air, and Soil Pollution. Springer: Dordrecht. ISSN 0049-6979, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 
    VLIZ: Open Repository 227725 [ OMA ]

Author keywords
    air; exhalation; geological deposits; Katun river; mercury; natural sources; radon; sediments; Teletskoye; water

Authors  Top 
  • Baeyens, W., more
  • Dehandschutter, B., more
  • Leermakers, M., more
  • Bobrov, V. A.
  • Hus, R.
  • Baeyens-Volant, D.

Abstract
    Natural geological Hg deposits control the Hg levels in the upper Katun river. Very high levels of total Hg are observed in the watercolumn (up to 20 ng L-1) and the sediments (up to 244 µg g-1) close to the deposit area, but almost normal levels (1.8 ng L-1 in the water column and 0.14 µg g-1 in the sediments) are reached 60 km downstream of that zone. In general, low dissolved methylmercury (MMHg) concentrations were found (0.04–0.05 ng L-1) due to unfavourable methylation conditions. The MMHg concentrations in the sediments vary from 23.3 ng g-1, in the vicinity of the geological Hg deposits, to 0.17 ng g-1 60 km downstream. Total Hg levels in Lake Teletskoye (a geological active area) are slightly increased (1.1–1.8 ng L-1) compared to Lake Baikal and fairly constant alover the Lake, suggesting multiple sources. High mercury concentrations in springs and soils coincide with high radon concentrations in the same compartments as well as high soil exhalation fluxes. These results in combination with the fact that Lake Teletskoye is located in an active fault zone suggest that the Rn and Hg sources may be fault aligned spring waters and deep seated gases escaping through open cracks. Methylmercury concentrations in the Lake (0.03–0.1 ng L-1) were comparable to the concentrations found in Katun river but relative to the total Hg burden this means a higher percentage.

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