- Main subject area: Environmental Science
- Level and length: basic level (Bachelor, 15 hp / 10 weeks) or advanced level (Master, 30 hp / 20 weeks or 60 hp / 40 weeks)
- Language: Swedish or English (for Master)
The project will explore a time-series of mercury in streamwater at different points in a landscape to identify whether concentrations are changing and why.
Mercury is a potent neurotoxin. The trace levels found in surface waters biomagnify to levels that make many fish from unsafe to eat in Sweden and Europe. Mercury contamination is the single most common reason for waters of the Europe failing to meet the standards of the EU Water Framework Directive. For three decades the levels of mercury have been measured in the waters of the Krycklan catchment study. These observations have been critical for many scientific studies, but the time-series of these stream observations from half a dozen sites have not been evaluated.
This project will assemble these data and analyze them using to look for trends, patterns and their drivers. The key question is whether declining levels of mercury in the atmosphere since 1980 have led to deceases in stream concentrations, or whether brownification and climate warming are delaying the expected concentration declines.