Review

Geochemistry of mercury in soils and water sediments

  • Received: 09 December 2021 Revised: 01 May 2022 Accepted: 18 May 2022 Published: 30 May 2022
  • Our paper reviews the current understanding of mercury in the environment of soil and sediment, including sampling, mobilization phases and analyzing methods. As a dangerous trace element, mercury has been shown to have several harmful effects on the environment. Mercury is released into the environment in a variety of chemical forms by both geogenic and human activities, with the majority of it coming from anthropogenic sources. It is affected by environmental conditions such as pH, redox potential, light and temperature-all of which determine its final chemical form-reactivity and toxicity. Methylmercury is considered one of the most poisonous forms found in nature. Considering the methodologies of the studies carried out we have found that the best technique for preserving methylmercury in soil and sediment samples is to freeze it immediately after collection. Organically rich soils are related to higher total mercury levels. Plants, such as Solanum nigrum (BR3) and Cynodon dactylon (BR2), can play an important role in mercury transport and accumulation. Solid-phase selenium causes faster demethylation and slower methylation of mercury. Methylmercury can increase by climate change and thawing; arctic permafrost is a potential source of Hg. Chemical vapor generation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry was used to develop a simple and quick method for measuring methylmercury; ultrasonic agitation and HNO3 were used for the process, the last of which proved to be the most efficient for selective extraction of methylmercury.

    Citation: Gytautas Ignatavičius, Murat H. Unsal, Peter E. Busher, Stanisław Wołkowicz, Jonas Satkūnas, Giedrė Šulijienė, Vaidotas Valskys. Geochemistry of mercury in soils and water sediments[J]. AIMS Environmental Science, 2022, 9(3): 277-297. doi: 10.3934/environsci.2022019

    Related Papers:

  • Our paper reviews the current understanding of mercury in the environment of soil and sediment, including sampling, mobilization phases and analyzing methods. As a dangerous trace element, mercury has been shown to have several harmful effects on the environment. Mercury is released into the environment in a variety of chemical forms by both geogenic and human activities, with the majority of it coming from anthropogenic sources. It is affected by environmental conditions such as pH, redox potential, light and temperature-all of which determine its final chemical form-reactivity and toxicity. Methylmercury is considered one of the most poisonous forms found in nature. Considering the methodologies of the studies carried out we have found that the best technique for preserving methylmercury in soil and sediment samples is to freeze it immediately after collection. Organically rich soils are related to higher total mercury levels. Plants, such as Solanum nigrum (BR3) and Cynodon dactylon (BR2), can play an important role in mercury transport and accumulation. Solid-phase selenium causes faster demethylation and slower methylation of mercury. Methylmercury can increase by climate change and thawing; arctic permafrost is a potential source of Hg. Chemical vapor generation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry was used to develop a simple and quick method for measuring methylmercury; ultrasonic agitation and HNO3 were used for the process, the last of which proved to be the most efficient for selective extraction of methylmercury.



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