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Mediterranean atmospheric mercury cycle system

Objective



The overall goal of the proposed project is to improve our understanding of all those mechanisms influencing the dynamics of atmospheric mercury in the Mediterranean Sea region including emissions from natural and anthropogenic sources, atmospheric transport and deposition to water and terrestrial receptors, and chemical and physical transformations of Hgø and other Hg species in the atmosphere with changing meteorological conditions. The major objective of the proposed work is to develop the Mediterranean Atmospheric Mercury Cycle System (MAMCS) that will be a merger of state-of-the-art meteorological and dispersion models, chemical-physical transformation models, and dry and wet deposition models. In addition, a field campaign addressed to measure all parameters needed (e.g., ambient concentrations of atmospheric mercury, deposition fluxes, meteorological parameters) to evaluate the MAMCS performance will be conducted at four sites.
Three sites will be located in industrial areas of the Mediterranean Sea region linked by air mass transport and one site in rural area. The proposed project will contribute to improve our knowledge on the biogeochemical cycle of mercury in the Mediterranean Sea region and will help differentiate for the first time the contribution of mercury emissions from natural and anthropogenic sources. MAMCS will contribute to the improvement of policies and strategies for reduction of the risk associate with environmental pollution by mercury in the EU member countries, particularly in the South Europe, characterised by geological anomaly (i.e. due to the largest mines of cinnabar in the world which are very reach in mercury), higher seasonal temperature and solar irradiation, factors that are believed to be the driving forces of many chemical and physical processes involved in the cycle of atmospheric mercury in the Mediterranean Sea region.
Specific objectives to be achieved by the proposed study are:
1. to develop a comprehensive state-of-the-art dynamic time dependent modeling system - the Mediterranean Atmospheric Mercury Cycle System (MAMCS), that will evaluate the atmospheric transport, chemical and physical transformations, and deposition fluxes to and evasion (or volatilisation) rates from the Mediterranean Sea water,
2. to develop a database in which to provide information on past, current and future emissions of mercury to the atmosphere from natural and anthropogenic sources in the Mediterranean Sea region and Europe with chemical speciation and listing of major point sources,
3. to develop a number of user-friendly mathematical models that can be used by other scientists at national and international levels in order to simulate specific processes involved in the cycle of the atmospheric mercury in different regions of the world making the appropriate changes,
4. to assess the relative importance and absolute magnitude of the contribution of natural and anthropogenic emission sources of mercury in the Mediterranean Sea region (local sources) in comparison to the regional transport, to the total budget of atmospheric mercury entering to the Mediterranean Sea water by particle dry deposition and gas exchange at the air-water interface, and aerosol scavenging by precipitation, and
5. to describe and possibly explain spatial patterns in the deposition fluxes and ambient concentrations (i.e., source-receptor relationship) of mercury in the Mediterranean Sea region.

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts
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Coordinator

NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL OF ITALY
Address
Unical-polifunzionale
87036 Rende
Italy

Participants (5)

NATIONAL AND KAPODISTRIAN UNIVERSITY OF ATHENS
Greece
Address
33,Panepistimioupolis 33, Building Physics V, Univers
15784 Zographos, Athens
NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL OF ITALY
Italy
Address
Area Della Ricerca, Via Alfieri 1
56010 Mezzana
NORWEGIAN INSTITUTE FOR AIR RESEARCH
Norway
Address
Instituttveien 18
2027 Kjeller
SWEDISH ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH INSTITUTE LTD-IVL SVENSKA MILJOININSTITUTET AB
Sweden
Address
43,Valhallavagen 81
11427 Stockholm
Technion - Israel Institute of Technology
Israel
Address

32000 Sher Ha(c)fa