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Atmospheric Mercury Modeling
This figure is a conceptual diagram of the atmospheric
mercury cycle, as simulated by the HYSPLIT-Hg model,
including emissions, transformation, phase-partitioning,
A report on Mercury Contamination in the Great Lakes was submitted to Congress in 2007 
and summarized in a briefing presentation 
A talk summarizing mercury's public health, ecosystem cycling, bioaccumulation, and atmospheric aspects
was given to the NOAA OAR Senior Research Council in Sept 2008 ,
and a slightly modified version of this talk was given at Howard University in Oct 2008 
A talk  (with accompanying movie ) regarding
source-attribution aspects of atmospheric mercury was given at the 2004 USGS Mercury Workshop in
Reston, VA. An expanded version of this presentation was given at the MARAMA Mercury Workshop in
Cherry Hill, NJ .
An overview of mercury emissions, atmospheric fate and
transport, and source-receptor relationships was given at a 2006
Niagara Falls meeting organized by the U.S. EPA, the IJC, and
the Ontario Ministry of the Environment , a 2006 seminar at
Frostburg State Univ., and a Dec 2008 National Water Quality
Monitoring Council meeting in Reston, VA .
An overview of local and regional deposition
impacts was given at a Nov 2005 meeting of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection
Mercury Rule Workgroup .
An overview of data needs for atmospheric mercury
model evaluation was presented at an Oct 2005 meeting in Frostburg MD . An
overview presentation regarding mercury fate and transport in the environment was presented to
the NOAA OAR Ecosystem Research Program in February 2005 .
Model-estimated U.S. utility atmospheric mercury deposition contribution to the Great Lakes: HYSPLIT-Hg (1996 meteorology, 1999 emissions) vs. CMAQ-Hg (2001 meteorology and emissions).
A presentation highlighting the value of model intercomparisons was given at a 2006 EPA-IJC-OMOE
meeting; this presentation summarized several examples for mercury, including the study
described below, a comparison of HYSPLIT vs. ISC for near-field deposition, and a comparison of HYSPLIT vs.
CMAQ for the impact of U.S. coal-fired power plants on the Great Lakes .
Simulation of mercury in a European modeling domain has been performed as part of a
Mercury Modeling Intercomparison Project organized by MSC-East in Moscow, Russia.
The overall project was summarized in a 2005 presentation .
Detailed results for Phase II of the project are available as a report 
and paper , and HYSPLIT-specific results are also available
. Phase III of the project is desribed in a report
 and paper .
Analysis for 1996:
Geographic distribution of atmospheric mercury deposition contributions to Lake Michigan,
estimated with the NOAA HYSPLIT-Hg atmospheric mercury fate and transport model.
Click here for enlarged version of this figure, as a PDF
or a Powerpoint file.
A presentation regarding the atmospheric deposition of mercury to the Great Lakes 
was given at the IJC-organized symposium An Ecosystem Approach to the Health Effects
of Mercury in the Great Lakes Basin. A paper  (with Supporting Information
) was published in a special issue of the journal Environmental Research
dedicated to papers arising from this meeting.
Analysis for 1999:
The 1996 analysis for the Great Lakes was updated using 1999-2000 emissions inventories .
A presentation regarding the transport and deposition of mercury to Lake Michigan was presented to the Indiana Dept
of Environmental Management's Mercury Working Group meeting in April 2005 .
A presentation regarding the transport and deposition of mercury to Lake Ontario was presented at the IJC's Biennial
Meeting in Kingston, Ontario, Canada, in June 2005 . The methodology and results for
this 1999-2000 analysis is described in detail in the Report to Congress on Great Lakes Mercury
Chesapeake Bay Region:
Emissions and direct deposition contributions from different distance ranges away
from the Chesapeake Bay, estimated with the NOAA HYSPLIT-Hg atmospheric mercury fate and transport model.
An analysis for the Chesapeake Bay was presented to the NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office and at the 7th International
Conference on Mercury as a Global Pollutant (ICMGP) in Slovenia in
A poster presenting preliminary results from a Summer 2004
atmospheric mercury study in the Chesapeake Bay region was presented
at the NADP meeting in Halifax, NS (Sept 2004) .
In August 2005, overview talks focusing on the Chesapeake Bay
region were given to the Maryland Department of the Environment  and the Baltimore City Department of Law .
Additional analyses of the Summer 2004 data and plans for a new
monitoring program at Beltsville MD were presented at the 8th
International Conference on Mercury as a Global Pollutant (ICMGP) in
Madison Wisconsin in August 2006 
Gulf of Mexico:
View from Grand Bay NERR atmospheric mercury measurement tower. Measurements at this site
(and others) are being used to 'ground truth' atmospheric mercury models.
Source-receptor modeling results for Mobile Bay were presented at the Gulf Coast Mercury Research
Collaboration Meeting in Pensacola Florida in May 2006 . A description of
the atmospheric mercury monitoring site at the Grand Bay NERR in Mississippi is available.
An overview of monitoring and modeling atmospheric mercury in the Gulf of Mexico was presented in Dec 2008 at the
Gulf of Mexico Alliance Mercury Workshop in Gulfport, MS .
An analysis for Lake Champlain  was presented at a 2003 symposium
organized by NOAA Sea Grant in Burlington VT.
Rock Creek Watershed:
Source-receptor modeling results for the Rock Creek Watershed (in the Washington DC area) were presented
at a NOAA Atmospheric Mercury meeting in Silver Spring, Nov 2006 .
Modeled mercury deposition (kg/year) to the Great Lakes (1995-1996 vs. 1999-2000),
arising from anthropogenic mercury air emissions sources in the U.S. and Canada.
Model results for atmospheric deposition show that the U.S. contributes much more
than Canada and that there was a significant decrease between 1996 and 1999-2000
(primarily due to decreased emissions from waste incineration).
Potential Impacts of Future Emissions:
A report  and presentation 
were prepared for the CEC, dealing with the potential consequences of future mercury
Concentration and Deposition Trends:
A report , poster ,
and paper  were prepared discussing trends in
Mercury Deposition Network data. The report also includes an overview
of atmospheric mercury fate/transport and a detailed section examining
source-receptor case-studies for mercury wet deposition events associated
with individual storms.
Report to Congress:
The NOAA Report to Congress 
noted above also has an extensive section on mercury trends in the Great Lakes. Available trend data for
mercury in biota, sediments, emissions, and deposition are summarized.
Multimedia Mercury Modeling:
Research is being carried out in collaboration with the U.S. EPA
and others to attempt to link atmospheric mercury models to aquatic
fate and transport models and other models. Photo Credit:
A presentation  regarding ongoing efforts to link atmospheric
mercury models with mercury models in other media was given at the Contaminant Monitoring &
Research Workshop Planning for the 2008 Cooperative Monitoring Year (Contaminants Component),
Grand Island, New York, March 2007.
A 2008 paper  describes a multi-media analysis in which mercury
deposition trends are estimated from sediment data and atmospheric models. In this case study for the
Bay of Fundy region, data from three atmospheric chemistry models (CMAQ, GEOS-Chem, HYSPLIT) and
multiple sediment archives (ombrotrophic bog, headwater lake, coastal salt marsh) were utilized.
The analysis suggests that deposition attributable to US and Canadian emissions has declined in
a recent years, thereby increasing the relative significance of global sources.
Documents available for viewing or download
(referred to by number in the narrative above)
NOAA Report to Congress on Great Lakes Mercury Contamination.
Authors: Mark Cohen, Roland Draxler, and Richard Artz. Submitted to Congress on May 14, 2007.
The report focuses on two areas: (a) the fate and transport of atmospheric mercury,
including an analysis of the atmospheric transport and deposition of U.S. and
Canadian anthropogenic mercury emissions to the Great Lakes using the NOAA HYSPLIT-Hg
atmospheric mercury model; and (b) data regarding trends in Great Lakes mercury contamination,
including trends in mercury air emissions and deposition, and in mercury concentrations
in sediments, fish, and other biota.
Emissions, Transport/Fate, Source-Receptor Relationships
(also available as a
PowerPoint file [15 MB]). Presentation at the
Collaborative Meeting on Modeling Mercury in Freshwater Environments,
organized by IJC, EPA, and the Ontario Ministry of the Environment. Niagara Falls, NY, January 19-20, 2006.
General overview of atmospheric mercury modeling, including current challenges faced,
and detailed results for Lake Erie. Also includes a discussion of global anthropogenic emissions,
natural emissions, and re-emissions, and a comparison of emissions in the U.S., Canada, and China.
Atmospheric Transport and Deposition of Mercury
(also available as a PowerPoint file [13 MB]).
Presentation at "Mercury in Maryland" Meeting, Appalachian Lab, Univ. of Maryland Center
for Environmental Science, Frostburg MD, Nov 2-3, 2005. General overview of atmospheric mercury
modeling, and includes discussion of the relative merits of different types of ambient measurements
for use in model evaluation.
Mercury Model Intercomparisons (also available as a PowerPoint file [10 MB]).
Presentation at the Collaborative Meeting on Modeling Mercury in Freshwater Environments,
organized by IJC, EPA, and the Ontario Ministry of the Environment.
Niagara Falls, NY, January 19-20, 2006. Discusses the importance of model intercomparisons,
and gives examples of HYSPLIT-Hg results compared to many other models, including CMAQ and ISC.
Fate and Transport of Mercury (also available as a
PowerPoint file [8 MB]).
Presentation at the Lake Ontario Contaminant Monitoring & Research Workshop
Planning for the 2008 Cooperative Monitoring Year (Contaminants Component),
Grand Island, New York, March 27 & 28, 2007. Includes discussions of:
(a) ongoing efforts to link atmospheric mercury models with mercury models in
other media; (b) atmospheric modeling needs and goals; (c) results for Lake Ontario .
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important animation features of the presentation could not be readily represented in a PDF file.
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