Everglades and wetland mercury modeling

In the late 1980s, monitoring by Florida state agencies showed high levels of mercury in fish from some areas in Everglades.   The problem was due to a combination of relatively high atmospheric mercury deposition and ecosystem conditions favorable to convert inorganic mercury into methylmercury,  the toxic form that accumulates in fish.

Mr. Harris led a project  supported by the US EPA to modify the Dynamic Mercury Cycling Model for lakes to represent marshes in Florida Everglades (See below – Tetra Tech (1999).  The resulting Everglades Mercury Cycling Model  (E-MCM) can also be used for wetlands generally.  E-MCM has been used as a research tool and in a pilot mercury Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) study supported by the US EPA (See below – Atkeson et al., 2003).

Everglades MCM model graphic


Atkeson et al., 2003

Atkeson, T.D., D.M. Axelrad, C.D. Pollman, and G.J. Keeler (2003) Integrating Atmospheric Mercury Deposition with Aquatic Cycling in the Florida Everglades: An Approach for Conducting a Total Maximum Daily Load Analysis for an Atmospherically Derived Pollutant. Integrated Summary, Final Report. Prepared by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, University of Michigan Air Quality Laboratory, and Tetra Tech Inc., 247 pp.

Tetra Tech Inc. (1999)

Everglades Mercury Cycling Model for Windows. A Model for Mercury Cycling in Everglades Marsh Areas – Draft User’s Guide and Technical Reference. Prepared for the United States Environmental Protection Agency. June 1999. R. Harris lead author.