IMIS | Lifewatch regional portal

You are here


[ report an error in this record ]basket (0): add | show Print this page

High mercury accumulation in deep-ocean hadal sediments
Sanei, H.; Outridge, P.M.; Oguri, K.; Stern, G.A.; Thamdrup, B.; Wenzhöfer, F.; Wang, F.; Glud, R.N. (2021). High mercury accumulation in deep-ocean hadal sediments. NPG Scientific Reports 11(1): 10970.
In: Scientific Reports (Nature Publishing Group). Nature Publishing Group: London. ISSN 2045-2322; e-ISSN 2045-2322, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 

Authors  Top 
  • Sanei, H.
  • Outridge, P.M.
  • Oguri, K.
  • Stern, G.A.
  • Thamdrup, B.
  • Wenzhöfer, F.
  • Wang, F.
  • Glud, R.N., more

    Ocean sediments are the largest sink for mercury (Hg) sequestration and hence an important part of the global Hg cycle. Yet accepted global average Hg flux data for deep-ocean sediments (> 200 m depth) are not based on measurements on sediments but are inferred from sinking particulates. Mercury fluxes have never been reported from the deepest zone, the hadal (> 6 km depth). Here we report the first measurements of Hg fluxes from two hadal trenches (Atacama and Kermadec) and adjacent abyssal areas (2–6 km). Mercury concentrations of up to 400 ng g−1 were the highest recorded in marine sediments remote from anthropogenic or hydrothermal sources. The two trench systems differed significantly in Hg concentrations and fluxes, but hadal and abyssal areas within each system did not. The relatively low recent mean flux at Kermadec was 6–15 times higher than the inferred deep-ocean average, while the median flux across all cores was 22–56 times higher. Thus, some hadal and abyssal sediments are Hg accumulation hot-spots. The hadal zone comprises only ~ 1% of the deep-ocean area, yet a preliminary estimate based on sediment Hg and particulate organic carbon (POC) fluxes suggests total hadal Hg accumulation may be 12–30% of the estimate for the entire deep-ocean. The few abyssal data show equally high Hg fluxes near trench systems. These results highlight a need for further research into deep-ocean Hg fluxes to better constrain global Hg model.

All data in the Integrated Marine Information System (IMIS) is subject to the VLIZ privacy policy Top | Authors