Among pollutants widespread in the environment, mercury (Hg) is well recognised for its toxicity, mobility and bioaccumulation potential. In coastal areas the presence of this element generates conflicts with important resources of profitable value such as fisheries and aquaculture. The Marano and Grado Lagoon (Adriatic Sea) experienced a double Hg impact. The first is due to the mining activity conducted at Idrija (western Slovenia) for approximately 500 years, whereas the second is the result of discharge of a chlor-alkali plant effluents. Fish farming is a historical activity covering 14% of the total lagoon area. Recently, one fish farm was long-term monitored in order to understand the role of the sediment-water interface in recycling Hg and to estimate benthic fluxes and Hg mobility in the water column. An important further step toward a better comprehension of the Hg biogeochemical cycling in the lagoon environment, is represented by the estimate of its evasional fluxes, as gaseous elemental mercury (GEM), at the water-air interface. A dynamic flux chamber coupled with a real-time atomic adsorption spectrometer (Lumex-RA 915+) has been used to measure GEM and to estimate the diurnal evasion flux at the water-air interface during three seasonal campaigns in four selected sites: two in a lagoon fish farm, one in the open lagoon environment highly impacted by Hg mining activities and the last one in an uncontaminated area of the Gulf of Trieste, the Bay of Piran (Slovenia). Accomplished to these measurements the regional background level of atmospheric GEM was determined together with the main chemico-physical parameters influencing Hg behaviour. This new insights will be of help for future estimates of Hg mass balance in one of the most contaminated areas in the Adriatic Sea.

Gaseous elemental mercury concentration and diurnal evasional fluxes from the water-air interface in coastal environments of the northern Adriatic Sea

Stefano Covelli
;
Alessandro Acquavita;Federico Floreani;Elisa Petranich;Elena Pavoni
2018

Abstract

Among pollutants widespread in the environment, mercury (Hg) is well recognised for its toxicity, mobility and bioaccumulation potential. In coastal areas the presence of this element generates conflicts with important resources of profitable value such as fisheries and aquaculture. The Marano and Grado Lagoon (Adriatic Sea) experienced a double Hg impact. The first is due to the mining activity conducted at Idrija (western Slovenia) for approximately 500 years, whereas the second is the result of discharge of a chlor-alkali plant effluents. Fish farming is a historical activity covering 14% of the total lagoon area. Recently, one fish farm was long-term monitored in order to understand the role of the sediment-water interface in recycling Hg and to estimate benthic fluxes and Hg mobility in the water column. An important further step toward a better comprehension of the Hg biogeochemical cycling in the lagoon environment, is represented by the estimate of its evasional fluxes, as gaseous elemental mercury (GEM), at the water-air interface. A dynamic flux chamber coupled with a real-time atomic adsorption spectrometer (Lumex-RA 915+) has been used to measure GEM and to estimate the diurnal evasion flux at the water-air interface during three seasonal campaigns in four selected sites: two in a lagoon fish farm, one in the open lagoon environment highly impacted by Hg mining activities and the last one in an uncontaminated area of the Gulf of Trieste, the Bay of Piran (Slovenia). Accomplished to these measurements the regional background level of atmospheric GEM was determined together with the main chemico-physical parameters influencing Hg behaviour. This new insights will be of help for future estimates of Hg mass balance in one of the most contaminated areas in the Adriatic Sea.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11368/2926751
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