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Mercury speciation in the Scheldt estuary
Leermakers, M.; Meuleman, C.; Baeyens, W.F.J. (1995). Mercury speciation in the Scheldt estuary. Water Air Soil Pollut. 80(1-4): 641-652. hdl.handle.net/10.1007/BF01189717
In: Water, Air, and Soil Pollution. Springer: Dordrecht. ISSN 0049-6979, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in Authors 

Keywords
    Marine; Brackish water

Authors  Top 
  • Leermakers, M., more
  • Meuleman, C.
  • Baeyens, W.F.J., more

Abstract
    Surface waters of the Scheldt Estuary were sampled on various occasions between 1991 and 1994. Longitudinal particulate Hg (PM) concentrations ranged from 0.4 - 1.7 mu gHg/g and are essentially controlled by physical mixing of polluted fluvial particulates with relatively unpolluted marine particulates. Total dissolved mercury (TDM)concentrations ranged from 0.5 to 5.2 ng/L and are strongly influenced by removal and mobilization processes in the upper estuary, while in the lower estuary mixing processes cause a progressive decrease in TDM towards the mouth. Speciation studies showed that dissolved Hg is predominantly bound to strong complexing ligands (organic substances) in the upper estuary, but this fraction decreases with increasing salinity. In June 1993, however, the reactive mercury fraction was also high in the upper estuary. Model calculations showed that a conditional stability constant for Hg- humic acid interactions of 10(19) was a good estimate for the Scheldt estuary. Dissolved methylmercury was analyzed on three occasions. Significant seasonal variations were observed with concentrations ranging from 11 to 120 pg/L in the winter and 80 to 400 pg/L in summer. Supersaturation of Hg-o is observed throughout the whole estuary resulting in an estimated evasion flux of 140-1400 ng/m(2).day.

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