Wednesday, April 21, 2010

GLRI Modeling Of Mercury Loadings To Great Lakes Begins

Apr 19: The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) reports that mercury contamination in the Great Lakes is an ongoing concern, with both public health and wildlife health impacts. According to a posting, atmospheric deposition likely contributes more mercury to the Lakes and their watersheds than any other loading pathway. However, the amount, form, spatial distribution, and source attribution for this deposition is not well known. To address this knowledge gap, a project funded by GLRI to estimate the amount of mercury deposited to the Great Lakes from the atmosphere is now beginning. The project will use the NOAA HYSPLIT atmospheric fate and transport model to make these estimates and also the amounts coming from different source regions and source types. It is hoped that the information will be useful in prioritizing local, regional, national, and international actions to reduce mercury loadings to the Great Lakes. GLRI Funds to support the project have just been received by the Air Resources Laboratory (~April 19, 2010) and so work on this project will now commence. This first phase of the project is expected to take approximately one year to complete.

    In the project, mercury released to the air from local, regional, national, and global sources will be modeled from emissions to eventual deposition. The modeling will be carried out using a special version of the NOAA HYSPLIT atmospheric fate and transport model enhanced to simulate atmospheric mercury. Gridded meteorological data from NOAA and other agencies will be used to drive the HYSPLIT model. Mercury emissions inventories from EPA, States, and international agencies / institutions will be used as inputs to the model.

    Access the complete announcement with more details (click here).