Characteristics of mercury speciation in Minnesota rivers and streams

Steven J. Balogh, Edward B. Swain, Yabing H. Nollet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations

Abstract

Patterns of mercury (Hg) speciation were examined in four Minnesota streams ranging from the main-stem Mississippi River to small tributaries in the basin. Filtered phase concentrations of methylmercury (MeHg), inorganic Hg (IHg), and dissolved organic carbon (DOC) were higher in all streams during a major summertime runoff event, and DOC was enriched with MeHg but not with IHg. Particulate-phase MeHg and IHg concentrations generally increased with total suspended solids (TSS) concentrations but the event data did not diverge greatly from the non-event data, suggesting that sources of suspended sediments in these streams did not vary significantly between event and non-event samplings. The dissolved fractions (filtered concentration/unfiltered concentration) of both MeHg and IHg increased with increasing DOC concentrations, but varied inversely with TSS concentrations. While MeHg typically constitutes only a minor portion of the total Hg (THg) in these streams, this contribution is not constant and can vary greatly over time in response to watershed inputs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-11
Number of pages9
JournalEnvironmental Pollution
Volume154
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2008
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • DOC
  • Mercury
  • Minnesota
  • Speciation
  • Stream

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