Estimation of mercury emissions from forest fires, lakes, regional and local sources using measurements in Milwaukee and an inverse method

AMS Citation:
De Foy, B., C. Wiedinmyer, and J. J. Schauer, 2012: Estimation of mercury emissions from forest fires, lakes, regional and local sources using measurements in Milwaukee and an inverse method. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 12, 8993-9011, doi:10.5194/acp-12-8993-2012.
Date:2012-10-02
Resource Type:article
Title:Estimation of mercury emissions from forest fires, lakes, regional and local sources using measurements in Milwaukee and an inverse method
Abstract: Gaseous elemental mercury is a global pollutant that can lead to serious health concerns via deposition to the biosphere and bio-accumulation in the food chain. Hourly measurements between June 2004 and May 2005 in an urban site (Milwaukee, WI) show elevated levels of mercury in the atmosphere with numerous short-lived peaks as well as longer-lived episodes. The measurements are analyzed with an inverse model to obtain information about mercury emissions. The model is based on high resolution meteorological simulations (WRF), hourly back-trajectories (WRFFLEXPART) and a chemical transport model (CAMx). The hybrid formulation combining back-trajectories and Eulerian simulations is used to identify potential source regions as well as the impacts of forest fires and lake surface emissions. Uncertainty bounds are estimated using a bootstrap method on the inversions. Comparison with the US Environmental Protection Agency’s National Emission Inventory (NEI) and Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) shows that emissions from coal-fired power plants are properly characterized, but emissions from local urban sources, waste incineration and metal processing could be significantly under-estimated. Emissions from the lake surface and from forest fires were found to have significant impacts on mercury levels in Milwaukee, and to be underestimated by a factor of two or more.
Subject(s):Mercury, emissions, Mid-West, sources, fires, incerse modeling
Peer Review:Refereed
Copyright Information:Copyright Author(s) 2012. This work is distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
OpenSky citable URL: ark:/85065/d7d50nqv
Publisher's Version: 10.5194/acp-12-8993-2012
Author(s):
  • B. de Foy
  • Christine Wiedinmyer - NCAR/UCAR
  • J. Schauer
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