RESEARCH - Mercury Cycling Model for Headwater Drainage Lakes (MCM-HD)

The Mercury Cycling Model for Headwater Drainage Lake Systems (MCM-HD) was developed to simulate mercury transport, fate transportations and bioavailability in headwater drainage lakes and their surrounding watersheds, including wetlands. The model simulates the processes that alter the concentrations and speciation of mercury as it is transported into and through a watershed and its associated soils and surface waters. Water routing is important because concentrations and speciation of mercury in surface waters are a function of hydrologic flow paths. Hydrologic processes that influence the ultimate concentration and speciation of mercury in a drainage lake-watershed ecosystem include rainfall and snowfall, evapotranspiration, advection/runoff, and the formation of a snowpack. Three primary mercury are depicted in the model, including MeHg, Hgo and elemental mercury. Total mercury can be calculated as the sum of these three forms. Model compartments include air, soils/sediments, water column (epilimnion and hypolimnion), and a food web, since fish are of central interest and obtain most of their methylmercury from their diet. Processes simulated that impact mercury concentrations and speciation include atmospheric deposition, throughfall, litterfall, transpiration, settling, sediment burial, resuspension and erosion, diffusion, volatilization, methylation, demethylation, photodegradation, oxidation, reduction, partitioning to solids in both the water column and soils/sediments, and uptake by phytoplankton, zooplankton, benthos and fish. Integration of these processes in the MCM-HD model framework provides a tool for data analysis, hypothesis testing, and evaluation of management scenarios.

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For further information contact:
Charles T. Driscoll
University Professor of Environmental Systems Engineering
Syracuse University
151 Link Hall
Syracuse, NY 13244
315-443-1243 (fax)