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Interactions of Mercury with Dissolved Organic Carbon in the Everglades

photo of scientist at sampling site
Project Investigator: George Aiken

Project Personnel: Jarrod Gasper, Kenna Butler

Project Start Date: 2001 End Date: 2006

Recent Funding: (FY06) USGS GE PES, (FY05) USGS GE PES


Summary

The goal of our research is to provide information about the interactions of mercury and dissolved organic matter that will better define this important, albeit, poorly understood process.

It is well recognized that the chemical forms of mercury in the water column and sediments are intimately related to bioaccumulation and body burden. Interactions of mercury and dissolved organic matter may play an important role in controlling the bioavailability and reactivity of mercury. The goal of our research is to provide information about the interactions of mercury and dissolved organic matter that will better define this important, albeit, poorly understood process. Ultimately, this research will lead to a more complete model of mercury behavior in the Everglades. Our research will focus on the effect of DOC on the transport and reactivity of mercury in the Everglades through a combined field and laboratory study. The underlying hypothesis of this research is that the chemistry and structural characteristics of organic matter in the Everglades have a controlling influence on mercury cycling processes such as methylation and volatilization.

The South Florida Water Management District, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the USGS South Florida Ecosystems Initiative have organized an intensive study of surface water chemistry in Southern Florida. In 1994, several onsite-research locations were selected in the Water Conservation Areas of the South Florida Water Management District in conjunction with this multidisciplinary, multiagency research project.

This work has been done as part of the U.S. Geological Survey South Florida Ecosystems Initiative and was funded in part by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (through Grant IAG #DW14936802-01-0). The purpose of this report is to make available to the South Florida Ecosystem Research Community the results of our investigation of DOC concentration, nature, and distribution in a prompt and widely available manner. Further additions will be made to the data file as sample collection continues, and as laboratory analyses are completed.

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Script last updated: 30 January 2014 @ 12:44 PM by THF. Record creator: BJM. Record last updated by: BJM.