Geochemical behavior of mercury in coastal marine sediments off Niigata, southeastern margin of the Japan Sea

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  • 新潟沿岸日本海堆積物における水銀の地球化学的挙動
  • ニイガタ エンガン ニホンカイ タイセキブツ ニ オケル スイギン ノ チキュ

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Three-hundred argillaceous marine sediments collected from off Niigata, southeastern coastal margin of the Japan Sea were analyzed for mercury by cold vapor atomic absorption spectrometry. Anomalously high mercury content of more than 300 ppb is found in the sediments around Sado Island. This anomalous mercury is likely to have originated from gold-silver mining activities in the island. In this case, mercury is probably presented in the form of Au-Ag-Hg amalgam. As for the other samples, the mercury is generally enriched in the fine sediment fraction and positively correlated with gold, copper, lead, sulfur and organic carbon. The inverse correlation between the mercury content and redox potential of the sediment suggests that mercury is enriched in reducing environments. In general, mercury is concentrated clearly in the uppermost layer of the core sediments. This may be caused by recent anthropogenic inputs because the mercury enrichment during early diagenesis is assumed to be negligible.


  • Chikyukagaku

    Chikyukagaku 29 (1), 25-36, 1995

    The Geochemical Society of Japan


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