Journal article

Solving the puzzle of mercury fate and emissions by coal-fired power plants: The potential of hydrodynamic-atmospheric modelling

Larissa Schneider, Maxwell Warren, Anna Lintern, Paul Winn, Lauri Myllyvirta, Sara Beavis, Bernd Gruber



There is currently a significant gap in knowledge about the emission and deposition of mercury (Hg) from coal-fired power plants in Australia. To fill this gap, we propose a novel method that combines several sources of information (stratigraphic data, hydrodynamic modelling and atmospheric modelling), to identify the sources and fates of Hg emitted from coal-fired power plants. The stratigraphic record from Lake Macquarie (Australia) shows that mercury deposition increased up to 7-times since the 1950s, which is when coal-fired power plants were commissioned in the catchment. The stratigraphy also shows a decrease in Hg deposition with power plant retrofits. Using results from multiple mode..

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University of Melbourne Researchers


Awarded by Australian Research Council

Funding Acknowledgements

This project was financially supported by the Australian Research Council (award: DE180100573) awarded to L. Schneider. We would like to thank the Traditional Owners both past and present for their support in allowing us to work on their lands. We thank the NSW Department of Planning, Industry, and Environment for the fieldwork support, J Potts and B Maher for helping with field work.