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Distribution characteristics of total mercury and methylmercury in the topsoil and dust of Xiamen, China

Keywords: total mercury,methylmercury,topsoil,dust,Xiamen

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Abstract:

The levels and distribution of mercury (Hg) species, including total mercury (THg) and methylmercury (MeHg) in the topsoil and dust collected from twenty sampling stations located in different land function areas of Xiamen, China, were investigated. The THg concentrations in topsoil ranged from 0.071 to 1.2 mg/kg, and in dust ranged from of 0.034 to 1.4 mg/kg. For stations where the THg of dust was less than 0.31 mg/kg, THg concentrations in the topsoil were significantly correlated to those in the corresponding dust (r = 0.597, n = 16, P = 0.014). The MeHg concentrations in topsoil were varied between 0.14 and 5.7 μg/kg. The ratios of MeHg/THg in the topsoil ranged from 0.069% to 0.74%. The range of MeHg concentration in the dust were 0.092–2.3 μg/kg. The ratios of MeHg/THg in the dust were at the same level as those in the topsoil. The MeHg concentrations in both topsoil and dust were linked to corresponding THg concentrations and soil organic matter. Neither THg nor MeHg concentration in the topsoil and dust was obviously linked to the land function.

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