Dissolved gaseous mercury and mercury flux measurements in Mediterranean coastal waters: A short review
1 CNR-Institute of Atmospheric Pollution Research, Rende, ITALY
2 CNR-Institute of Biophysics, Pisa, ITALY
There is a general agreement in the scientific community that the marine ecosystem can be a sink and/or source of the mercury that is cycling in the global environment, and current estimates of the global mercury budget for the Mediterranean region are affected by high uncertainty, primarily due to the little progress made so far in evaluating the role of chemical, physical and biological processes in the water system and in the lower atmosphere above the sea water (air-water interface). The lack of knowledge of the magnitude of the air-sea exchange mechanisms is, therefore, one of the main factors affecting the overall uncertainty associated with the assessment of net fluxes of Hg between the atmospheric and marine environments in the Mediterranean region. Results obtained during the last 15 years in the Mediterranean basin indicate the quantitative importance of such emission in the biogeochemical cycle of this element, highlighting the need for thorough investigations on the mechanisms of production and volatilization of dissolved gaseous mercury in waters.
Key words: Dissolved gaseous mercury / mercury flux / natural waters / Mediterranean basin
© Owned by the authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2013
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 2.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.