Volcanic emissions of mercury to the atmosphere: Global and regional inventories

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Abstract

A comprehensive, time-averaged inventory of subaerial emissions of mercury from volcanoes that were active between 1980 and 2000 is derived based on the Hg/SO2 ratios of the exhalations. Worldwide flux of mercury from volcanic eruptions is estimated to be 57 t/year while the flux from degassing activities is 37.6 t/year. After correcting for 'unmeasured' SO2 emissions, the total global flux of Hg to the atmosphere is estimated to be 112 t/year. There are regional differences in average emissions during the 20-year period, with the estimated fluxes being 29 t/year in South and Central America, 27 t/year in Southeast Asia; 24 t/year in North America (including Hawaii), 4.1 t/year in Australia, 3.4 t/year in Japan and northern Asia, 3.1 t/year in Europe and western Asia and 2.3 t/year in Africa. © 2003 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.

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Nriagu, J., & Becker, C. (2003). Volcanic emissions of mercury to the atmosphere: Global and regional inventories. In Science of the Total Environment (Vol. 304, pp. 3–12). https://doi.org/10.1016/S0048-9697(02)00552-1

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