Transport of Mercury and other metals to the West Coast of the U.S.
(Cooperative agreement with the U.S. EPA)
Our previous work has shown that combustion derived air pollutants from Asia can be transported to the U.S. in 6-8 days via rapid atmospheric transport. This discovery was made based on observations of a number of gaseous and aerosol species at the Cheeka Peak Observatory (CPO) on the northwestern tip of Washington state. To date only springtime observations have been made so we do not yet know how significant this transport is during other seasons. We propose to extend this work by collaborating with the U.S. EPA to make measurements of Hg(0), coarse and fine aerosol mass, aerosol S, C and trace metals on a year-round basis at the Cheeka Peak Observatory. These data will be combined with our other observations including gaseous CO and O3 and aerosol light scattering, which have been used previously to identify Asian transport events at CPO. Within the first year of this cooperative agreement we intend to establish a Cheeka Peak website where preliminary “near-real time” data can be viewed online. One of our primary goals of this work is to use the mercury and trace metal results to identify contributions from major source regions in Asia and report these results in one or more peer reviewed journal publications.