Elevated Mercury in the Water of the Angara River Source: A Response to Geodynamic Impacts and Strong Earthquakes

Abstract

The mercury concentrations in the water of the Angara River Source (runoff of Lake Baikal) are compared to temporal distributions of earthquakes of various magnitudes that occurred at various distances from the water-sampling site. It is established that all significant mercury maxima in the water are preceded by strong geodynamic impacts in the Baikal Rift Zone. The predictive estimates of the average annual mercury concentration indicate a possible significant increase in its levels in local areas of fluid discharge of faults under an intense geodynamic impact. The opening of deep faults during strong movements is expected to lead to decompression with mercury degassing and rapid rise to the surface along the fault zones.

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Funding

This work was supported by the Russian Foundation for Basic Research, Iofi_m grant no. 17–29–05022, and Research and Development projects nos. 0350–2016–0027 and 0346–2019–0001, and in part by the Russian Foundation for Basic Research, project nos. 17-57-44006 and 14–45–04011_r_Sibir_а.

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Correspondence to V. I. Grebenshchikova.

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The authors declare they have no conflict of interest.

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Translated by L. Mukhortova

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Grebenshchikova, V.I., Kuzmin, M.I., Klyuchevskii, A.V. et al. Elevated Mercury in the Water of the Angara River Source: A Response to Geodynamic Impacts and Strong Earthquakes. Dokl. Earth Sc. 491, 253–256 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1134/S1028334X20040078

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Keywords:

  • mercury
  • water
  • source of the Angara River
  • Baikal Rift Zone
  • geodynamic movements
  • earthquakes