No evidence for large subglacial source of mercury from the southwestern margin of the Greenland Ice Sheet

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In the current Matters Arising we present results from verifying control measurements of dissolved mercury (Hg) in glacial meltwater from the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS), which significantly challenges the conclusions of the recent publication by Hawkings et al. (2021)1. By direct measurements of meltwater in the same glacial catchment area, we demonstrate that the input Hg concentration for the regional upscaling in is likely vastly over-estimated with major implications for the validity of the asserted extreme yield of Hg from the GrIS. In addition, we present a plausible explanation for the high Hg concentration values in the study, namely hitherto unidentified cross-contamination of water samples by mercury chloride (HgCl2), which was present and used for other purposes during field work. Together, the result of our control study potentially invalidates the suggested implications of geologically sourced Hg under the southwestern margin of the GrIS on the Arctic ecosystem in both current and future climate conditions.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2021

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