Chapter

Use of Stable Isotopes in Mercury Research

Holger Hintelmann

in Mercury in the Environment

Published by University of California Press

Published in print March 2012 | ISBN: 9780520271630
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520951396 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520271630.003.0004
Use of Stable Isotopes in Mercury Research

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The determination of natural variations in mercury isotope ratios is a rapidly emerging area of research, opening new avenues for studying the fate of mercury in the environment. This chapter presents the basics on physical and chemical isotope fractionation mechanisms, including both mass-dependent and mass-independent mercury isotope fractionation. An overview of analytical techniques used for mercury isotope ratio measurements is followed by a review of mercury isotope fractionation in natural samples. The use of mercury isotope signatures as tracers for sources and processes will be discussed in the context of source appointment for mercury emissions and bioaccumulation in aquatic ecosystems, with particular emphasis on the role that mercury isotopes may play in understanding the global mercury cycle.

Keywords: mercury; isotope ratio; isotope fractionation; mass-dependent fractionation; mass-independent fractionation; source appointment; bioaccumulation

Chapter.  12629 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Animal Pathology and Diseases

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