Mercury sources and physicochemical characteristics in ice, snow, and meltwater of the Laohugou Glacier Basin, China

Rukumesh Paudyal, Shichang Kang, Junming Guo, Lekhendra Tripathee, Chhatra Mani Sharma, Jie Huang, Yang Li, Fangping Yan, Kun Wang, Jizu Chen, Xiang Qin, Mika Sillanpaa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


In this work, samples of surface snow, surface ice, snow pit and meltwater from the Laohugou Glacier No. 12 on the northern edge of Tibetan Plateau (TP) were collected during the summer of 2015. The average concentration of Hg in surface snow/ice was 22.41 ng L−1, while the percentage of dissolved mercury (HgD) was observed to be around 26%. An altitudinal magnification of Hg was not observed for surface snow; however, in contrast, a significant positive magnification of Hg with altitude was observed in the surface ice. A higher concentration of Hg corresponded with the dust layer of the snow pit. It was observed that about 42% of Hg was lost from the surface snow when the glacier was exposed to sunlight within the first 24 h indicating some Hg was emitted back to the atmosphere while some were percolated downwards. The result from the principal component analysis (PCA) showed that the sources of Hg in Laohugou Glacier No. 12 were from crustal and biomass burning. Finally, it was estimated that total export of Hg from the outlet river of Laohugou glacier No. 12 in the year 2015 was about 1439.46 g yr−1 with yield of 22.77 μg m2 yr−1. This study provides valuable insights for understanding the behavior of Hg in the glacier of the northern Tibetan Plateau.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51530-51543
Number of pages14
JournalEnvironmental Science and Pollution Research
Issue number37
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Glacier
  • Laohugou Glacier No. 12
  • Mercury
  • Qilian Mountain
  • Snow
  • Tibetan Plateau

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


Dive into the research topics of 'Mercury sources and physicochemical characteristics in ice, snow, and meltwater of the Laohugou Glacier Basin, China'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this