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Title: Historical records of mercury stable isotopes in sediments of Tibetan Lakes
Authors: Yin, R
Feng, X
Hurley, JP
Krabbenhoft, DP
Lepak, RF
Kang, S
Yang, H
Li, X 
Issue Date: 2016
Source: Scientific reports, 21 2016, v. 6, no. , p. 1-10
Abstract: The Tibetan Plateau (TP), known as the "Third Pole", is a critical zone for atmospheric mercury (Hg) deposition. Increasing anthropogenic activities in the globe leads to environmental changes, which may affect the loading, transport and deposition of Hg in the environment. However, the deposition history and geochemical cycling of Hg in the TP is still uncertain. Our records of Hg and Hg isotopes in sediment profiles of the two largest lakes in the TP, Lake Qinghai and Nam Co, show increased Hg influx since last century, with the maximum Hg influx enrichment ratios of 5.4 and 3.5 in Lake Qinghai and Nam Co, respectively. Shifts in negative δ202 Hg in Lake Qinghai (-4.55 to-3.15‰) and Nam Co (-5.04 to-2.16‰) indicate increased atmospheric Hg deposition through rainfall, vegetation and runoff of soils. Mass independent fractionation of both even-Hg (δ200 Hg: +0.05 to +0.10‰) and odd-Hg (δ199 Hg: +0.12 to +0.31‰) isotopes were observed. Positive δ200 Hg suggest high proportion of precipitationderived Hg in the TP, whereas the positive δ199 Hg results from Hg(II) photo-reduction. Both lakes show increasing δ199Hg since the 1900 s, and we conclude that with the decrease of ice duration, Hg(II) photoreduction may have been accelerated in these TP lakes.
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
Journal: Scientific reports 
EISSN: 2045-2322
DOI: 10.1038/srep23332
Rights: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit
The following publication Yin, R., Feng, X., Hurley, J. et al. Historical Records of Mercury Stable Isotopes in Sediments of Tibetan Lakes. Sci Rep 6, 23332 (2016) is available at
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