Mercury Distribution in Estuarine-Nearshore Environment

by Herbert L. Windom, Assoc. Prof.; Skidaway Inst. of Oceanography, Savannah, GA,

Serial Information: Journal of the Waterways, Harbors and Coastal Engineering Division, 1973, Vol. 99, Issue 2, Pg. 257-264

Document Type: Journal Paper


The transfer of mercury through an estuarine system of the Southeastern Atlantic Coast to the open ocean is controlled by: (1) mixing of estuarine waters with offshore waters; (2) loss in plant detritus due to rafting offshore; (3) migration of estuarine organisms to offshore areas. An additional loss of mercury for estuaries along the Georgia coast indicates that the dominant salt marsh plant Spartina alterniflora exerts a strong control on the migration of this metal. Mercury enters the estuary primarily in solution, delivering approximate 1.5 mg annually to each square meter of salt marsh. The annual uptake of mercury by the plant is approximately 0.7 mg/mFRUS2TUTF of salt marsh.

Subject Headings: Mercury (chemical) | Estuaries | Salts | Salt water | Light rail transit | Sea water | Ocean engineering | Water loss | Georgia | United States

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