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Bulletin of the Korean Chemical Society (BKCS)

ISSN 0253-2964(Print)
ISSN 1229-5949(Online)
Volume 32, Number 12
BKCSDE 32(12)
December 20, 2011 

Quantification of Total Mercury in Antarctic Surface Snow using ICP-SF-MS: Spatial Variation from the Coast to Dome Fuji
Yeongcheol Han, Youngsook Huh*, Sungmin Hong, Soon Do Hur, Hideaki Motoyama, Shuji Fujita, Fumio Nakazawa, Kotaro Fukui
Gaseous elemental mercury, Reactive gaseous mercury, Atmospheric mercury depletion event, Photochemical oxidation and reduction
The total mercury concentration (HgT) of surface snow samples collected along a ~1500 km transect in east Queen Maud Land was determined using inductively coupled plasma sector field mass spectrometry to address the behavior of Hg on the Antarctic Plateau. Due to the volatile nature of mercury, measures were taken against Hg loss from standard solutions by choosing appropriate container material and stabilizing agents. Glass bottles with Teflon-lined caps were superior to Teflon and polyethylene containers in protecting against Hg loss, but addition of gold chloride (AuCl3) or bromine chloride (BrCl) was necessary to ensure preservation of Hg. As Hg loss was also observed in snowmelt samples, our analysis may underestimate the actual amount of HgT in the snow. Even so, the measured HgT was still very low (< 0.4-10.8 pg g−1, n = 44) without a signal of depositional enhancement accompanying photo-oxidation of atmospheric elemental mercury in austral midsummer. Moreover, the dynamic variation along the traverse implies spatial and temporal heterogeneity in its source processes.
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