The analysis of Greenland ice suggests that the flux of mercury from the continents
to the atmosphere has increased in recent times, perhaps partly as a result of the many of
man’s activities that effect an alteration of terrestrial surfaces. Upon the exposure of fresh
crustal matter, the natural outgassing of mercury vapor from the earth’s surface could be
Accordingly, mercury was measured in a variety of environmental materials gathered
from the North Slope of Alaska to provide background data prior to the anticipated increase
of activity in this environment. The materials were collected during the U. S. Coast Guard
WEBSEC 72-73 cruises as well as through the facilities provided by Naval Arctic Research
Laboratory in the spring of 1973.
The method of measurement depended upon radioactivation of mercury with neutrons
and the subsequent quantification of characteristic gamma radiations after radiochemical
Mercury concentrations in seawater at several locations in the vicinity of 151°W,
71°N averaged 20 parts per trillion. The waters from all stations east of this location showed
a significantly smaller concentration. This difference may relate to penetration o f Bering-
Chukchi Sea water into the southern Beaufort Sea to 151°W. Marine sediments on the shelf
and slope between 143°W and 153°W contained about 100 parts per billion mercury, except
for those on the continental shelf between Barter Island and the Canning River, where the
concentration was less than half this value. These results are consistent with sediment input
from the respective rivers when their mercury content and mineralogy are considered. The
mercury content of river waters was 18 ppt and in reasonable agreement with the average of
snow samples (13 ppt). The burden of mercury in plankton was 37 ppb.
The export option will allow you to export the current search results of the entered query to a file. Different
formats are available for download. To export the items, click on the button corresponding with the preferred download format.
By default, clicking on the export buttons will result in a download of the allowed maximum amount of items.
To select a subset of the search results, click "Selective Export" button and make a selection of the items you want to export.
The amount of items that can be exported at once is similarly restricted as the full export.
After making a selection, click one of the export format buttons. The amount of items that will be exported is indicated in the bubble next to export format.