In the first phase of the Hg biocomplexity study, we will conduct detailed plot-level studies examining pathways of Hg deposition to the forest floor, and the subsequent transport and fate of atmospherically deposited Hg. These studies will be conducted primarily at the Huntington Forest (HF), Newcomb, NY (43o 58'N, 74o14'W), with supplemental studies at Sunday Lake (SL). The HF is a site of many studies of the response of forest ecosystems to atmospheric deposition. The overall objective of this phase of the study is:

Objective 1: To quantify the inputs, transformations and losses of Hg species in an upland northern hardwood forest.

In this phase of the study, intensive plot-scale measurements are being made at the HF where instrumentation associated with several deposition networks (NAPD, AIRMoN, MDN, CASTNET) is currently located. This co-location of instrumentation will allow us to compare a variety of techniques and measurements of air-surface exchange of Hg. In this phase of the study, we are conducting detailed measurements of Hg inputs and loss (i.e., volatilization, drainage) to forest soil in order to assess the pathways of Hg inputs and their fate. We are characterizing airborne gas and particle phases over time, and making detailed measurements of wet Hg deposition, Hg deposition to surrogate surfaces, throughfall and litterfall Hg and MeHg, and Hgo volatilization using a flux chamber. Instrumentation for this phase of the study has largely been deployed at a plot adjacent to Arbutus Lake at the HF (see figure). In addition to the above measurements, we have collected soil samples by horizon and installed lysimeters to monitor Hg speciation in soil solutions at the intensive study plot. We are collecting foliage, litter, deployed litterbags and conducting forest floor mineralization studies to quantify the inputs and fate of Hg and MeHg inputs to the forest that occur by litterfall. We have instrumented wetlands along Archer Creek, which drains into Arbutus Lake, with piezometers (see figure). Finally, we are measuring and conducting mass balances for Hg species at the inlet streams and outlets of Arbutus Lake and Sunday Lake.


Upland Study

Wetland and Surface Water Study


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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)