Conditional sampling for measuring mercury vapor fluxes

Douglas R. Cobos, John M. Baker, Edward A. Nater

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


Surface-atmosphere mercury fluxes are difficult to measure accurately. Current techniques include dynamic flux chambers and micrometeorological gradient and aerodynamic approaches, all of which have a number of intrinsic problems associated with them. We have adapted conditional sampling (relaxed eddy accumulation), a micrometeorological technique commonly used to measure other trace gas fluxes, to measure surface-air mercury fluxes. Our initial flux measurement campaign over an agricultural soil consisted of two 1-week measurement periods, and was longer in duration than previously reported mercury flux measurement periods. Fluxes during both measurement periods ranged between 190.5 (evolution) and -91.7ngm-2h-1 (deposition) with an average evolution of 9.67ngm-2h-1. The data showed significant diurnal trends, weakly correlated with shallow soil temperatures and solar radiation. This initial trial run indicates that conditional sampling has much promise for the accurate quantification of both short and long-term mercury fluxes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4309-4321
Number of pages13
JournalAtmospheric Environment
Issue number27
StatePublished - Sep 2002


  • Agricultural soil
  • Emission
  • Micrometeorology
  • Relaxed eddy accumulation
  • Soil-air exchange


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