Mercury isotope signatures in contaminated sediments as a tracer for local industrial pollution sources

Wiederhold, Jan G. and Skyllberg, Ulf and Drott, Andreas and Jiskra, Martin and Jonsson, Sofi and Björn, Erik and Bourdon, Bernard and Kretzschmar, Ruben. (2015) Mercury isotope signatures in contaminated sediments as a tracer for local industrial pollution sources. Environmental Science and Technology, 49 (1). pp. 177-185.

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Official URL: https://edoc.unibas.ch/68589/

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Mass-dependent fractionation (MDF) and mass-independent fractionation (MIF) may cause characteristic isotope signatures of different mercury (Hg) sources and help understand transformation processes at contaminated sites. Here, we present Hg isotope data of sediments collected near industrial pollution sources in Sweden contaminated with elemental liquid Hg (mainly chlor-alkali industry) or phenyl-Hg (paper industry). The sediments exhibited a wide range of total Hg concentrations from 0.86 to 99 μg g(-1), consisting dominantly of organically-bound Hg and smaller amounts of sulfide-bound Hg. The three phenyl-Hg sites showed very similar Hg isotope signatures (MDF δ(202)Hg: -0.2‰ to -0.5‰; MIF Δ(199)Hg: -0.05‰ to -0.10‰). In contrast, the four sites contaminated with elemental Hg displayed much greater variations (δ(202)Hg: -2.1‰ to 0.6‰; Δ(199)Hg: -0.19‰ to 0.03‰) but with distinct ranges for the different sites. Sequential extractions revealed that sulfide-bound Hg was in some samples up to 1‰ heavier in δ(202)Hg than organically-bound Hg. The selectivity of the sequential extraction was tested on standard materials prepared with enriched Hg isotopes, which also allowed assessing isotope exchange between different Hg pools. Our results demonstrate that different industrial pollution sources can be distinguished on the basis of Hg isotope signatures, which may additionally record fractionation processes between different Hg pools in the sediments.
Faculties and Departments:05 Faculty of Science > Departement Umweltwissenschaften
UniBasel Contributors:Jiskra, Martin
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Publisher:American Chemical Society
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:13 Feb 2019 10:05
Deposited On:13 Feb 2019 10:02

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