Predominant anthropogenic sources and rates of atmospheric mercury accumulation in southern Ontario recorded by peat cores from three bogs: comparison with natural "background" values (past 8000 years)

Author Name: 
Givelet, N., Roos-Barraclough, F. and Shotyk, W.
Publication Date: 
Friday, May 2, 2003
Private File Attachment: 
Definitions: Bog A bog is a mire that accumulates peat Peat cores are taken from bogs – they are deposits of dead plant material (e.g. mosses) The reason Givelet et al decided to create the article is because they had an idea, because peat cores are an excellent sponge for atmospheric mercury contamination, and they have been able to find unmolested peat hundreds of years old, they had an opportunity to see how levels of mercury in the atmosphere have changed since pre-modern times. “Degassing from hydro- thermal systems, volcanism, soil erosion, biomass burning, and marine emissions are believed to dominate natural sources of Hg to the air…Because Hg is used in many industrial applications and also present in coal, natural gas and industrial and domestic waste, it is also emitted to the atmosphere during combustion for energy production or waste incineration.”(Givelet, 2003) Material was collected from three bogs in Ontario, Canada: Luther Bog, Spruce Bog and Sifton Bog. One gram of dried, milled powder was analyzed for 22 selected major and trace elements, including lead, calcium (Ca), strontium (Sr), manganese (Mn), iron (Fe), Br and selenium (Se), using the EMMA XRF spectrometer.27 A massive amount of data was collected and shown in this report, it should be of a delight to anyone who wants to know about this topic but does not want to walk around in bogs themselves. Overall the rise of Mercury was pointed to the development of Nuclear Power and the advancements of the industrial process changes in the past. Peat cores were shown to be great indicators and the article encourages other regions to use these peat cores to find out more about their environments.