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Publication Detail

Title: Mercury storage in surface soils in a central Washington forest and estimated release during the 2001 Rex Creek Fire.

Authors: Biswas, Abir; Blum, Joel D; Keeler, Gerald J

Published In Sci Total Environ, (2008 Oct 01)

Abstract: Recent investigations indicate that wildfires provide a significant flux of mercury (Hg) from terrestrial ecosystems to the atmosphere. However, little is known about how geographic location, climate, stand age, and tree species affect Hg accumulation prior to burning and loss during burning. Soil cores collected in sites burned during the summer 2001 Rex Creek Fire in the eastern Cascade Mountains (Washington State, USA) and in adjacent unburned control sites indicate that Hg loss from soils during the Rex Creek Fire averaged 6.7 (+/-2.5) g Hg ha(-1). This soil profile-based estimate of Hg release is higher than a previous estimate for the same fire based on airborne measurements of Hg and CO concentrations in smoke. This study has implications for global estimates of Hg storage in forests and release to the atmosphere during wildfires.

PubMed ID: 18640702 Exiting the NIEHS site

MeSH Terms: Climate; Ecosystem; Environmental Monitoring/statistics & numerical data; Fires; Mercury Compounds/analysis*; Soil Pollutants/analysis*; Soil/analysis; Trees*; Washington

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