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(PT266) Transport and Transformations of Mercury and Other Trace Metals in the Hudson River Buoyant Plume.

Reinfelder, J1, Wright, D1, Chant, R2, Glenn, S2, Schofield, O2, Wilkin, J2, Houghton, R3, Chen, R4, Moline, M5, Frazer, T6, 1 Dept of Environmental Sciences, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ, USA2 Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ, USA3 Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University, Palisades, NY, USA4 Environmental, Coastal, and Ocean Sciences, University of Massachusetts, Boston, MA, USA5 Biological Sciences, Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, CA, USA6 Dept of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA

ABSTRACT- Urban estuarine plumes represent a major pathway for the transport of nutrients and chemical contaminants to the coastal ocean. The fate and transport of plume-associated chemicals is controlled by the plume's physical dynamics, but also by biological and chemical processes that are coupled to these dynamics. In order to determine the geographic extent and biological impacts of contaminant metals associated with the Hudson River buoyant plume, the transport and transformations of mercury and other trace metals are being measured as part of the LaGrangian Transport and Transformation Experiment (LaTTE). LaTTE is a coordinated program of field and numerical modeling experiments to examine physical, chemical, and biological processes in a buoyant plume that emanates from one of the nation's most developed watersheds and estuaries. Beginning in the spring of 2004, a series of dye patch experiments will be carried out that include continuous underway chemical and biological sampling within the well-sampled framework of an operational ocean observatory. During the first experiment in May 2004, surface water samples for dissolved and suspended particle concentrations of mercury, monomethylmercury, and bioactive and non-essential trace metals were collected using a trace metal clean, underway sampling system. A semi-continuous (5 min resolution) record of dissolved gaseous mercury (elemental mercury) in surface waters revealed diurnal patterns of mercury reduction and volatilization. Continuous measurements of free Cu ion concentrations were made with a flow through Cu ISE system and discrete samples for free metal ion concentrations were collected using an ion exchange equilibrium technique. The results of this project will improve predictions of contaminant movements and ecosystem impacts within the Middle Atlantic Bight.

Key words: metals, mercury, river, plume


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