ARL News

ES&T Featuring ARL Mercury Work


February 18, 2002

An article soon to appear in Environmental Science and Technology, authored by Steve Lindberg of Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Steve Brooks of ARL, has been selected for special press release attention by the editors of the journal. The article focuses on rapid, photochemically driven, oxidation of boundary-layer mercury (Hg°) after Polar sunrise by reactive halogens, creating a rapidly depositing species of oxidized gaseous mercury in Barrow at concentrations in excess of 900 pg m-3. This mercury accumulates in the snowpack during Polar spring at an accelerated rate, in a form which is bioavailable to bacteria, and is released with snowmelt during the summer emergence of the Arctic ecosystem. Evidence suggests that this is a recent phenomenon which may be occurring throughout the Earths polar regions, and which may explain recent trends in Hg accumulation in Arctic biota.

Contact information: Steven B. Brooks
Phone: (865) 576-0148