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Collaborative Research: Reno Atmospheric Mercury Inter-Comparison Experiment


<p>This collaborative award will support an inter-comparison of different measurement systems for atmospheric mercury (Hg). Hg is an important neurotoxin which bioaccumulates in the food chain. It is an important global pollutant and the atmosphere is a key site for processing and global transport. However, there are large uncertainties in our understanding of the atmospheric cycling of Hg, in part due to significant uncertainties in its measurement. The experimental campaign will occur during the summer of 2011 at a site in Reno Nevada that has previously been used for Hg research, and will involve four new measurement systems along with the traditional method system that is currently widely in use for Hg. The new methods will be compared and challenged using a carefully designed manifold for spiking and interference tests. The specific goals for this project are: (1) to compare ambient measurements of gaseous elemental mercury (GEM), gaseous oxidized mercury (GOM) and particulate mercury (PHg) by multiple groups for four weeks; (2) to examine the response of all systems to spikes of elemental Hg and mercury halides; (3) to examine the response to Hg of all systems in the presence of known or potential interfering compounds, including ozone, water vapor and other compounds; (4) to analyze the data to quantify the level of agreement and the results of interference and calibration tests for each measurement system; and (5) to publish the results in the peer-reviewed literature. This project is aimed at improving the measurement capabilities for a very important pollutant. The development and testing of better methods to measure Hg follows on the recommendations of several national assessments and an NSF supported workshop. This project will provide training opportunities for a number of undergraduates, graduate students and post-doctoral fellows.</p>

Hynes, Anthony J
University of Miami
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