An improved global model for air-sea exchange of mercury: high concentrations over the North Atlantic.Environ Sci Technol. 2010 Nov 15; 44(22):8574-80.ES
We develop an improved treatment of the surface ocean in the GEOS-Chem global 3-D biogeochemical model for mercury (Hg). We replace the globally uniform subsurface ocean Hg concentrations used in the original model with basin-specific values based on measurements. Updated chemical mechanisms for Hg⁰/Hg(II) redox reactions in the surface ocean include both photochemical and biological processes, and we improved the parametrization of particle-associated Hg scavenging. Modeled aqueous Hg concentrations are consistent with limited surface water observations. Results more accurately reproduce high-observed MBL concentrations over the North Atlantic (NA) and the associated seasonal trends. High seasonal evasion in the NA is driven by inputs from Hg enriched subsurface waters through entrainment and Ekman pumping. Globally, subsurface waters account for 40% of Hg inputs to the ocean mixed layer, and 60% is from atmospheric deposition. Although globally the ocean is a net sink for 3.8 Mmol Hg y⁻¹, the NA is a net source to the atmosphere, potentially due to enrichment of subsurface waters with legacy Hg from historical anthropogenic sources.