Ambient atmospheric measurements of speciated mercury and total gaseous mercury in the Canadian Oil Sands Region

Matthew Parsons1, Daniel J. McLennan2, Anke Kelker3, Chris Nayet4, Alexandra Steffen5 and Roxanne Vingarzan6

As part of the Canada-Alberta Joint Oil Sands Monitoring program, ambient concentrations of atmospheric mercury are currently measured at two sites within the Canadian oil sands region near Fort McMurray and Fort McKay, Alberta.  Speciated mercury—including gaseous elemental mercury (GEM), gaseous oxidized mercury (GOM), particulate bound mercury on PM2.5 (PBM2.5), and particulate bound mercury on PM10 (PBM10)—and total gaseous mercury (TGM) were measured near Fort McKay, Alberta; TGM was also measured within the town site of Fort McMurray, Alberta.  TGM data are reported for the period of October 2010 – December 2015; speciated mercury data are reported for the period of September 2014 – December 2015.  TGM data (October 2010 – December 2015) from the Canadian oil sands region are compared to historical TGM measurements from across Alberta and Saskatchewan since 1998, including historical measurements within the Canadian oil sands region.  For sites with five or more years’ worth of data, TGM concentration data show statistically significant decreasing long-term trends of -0.7 to -5.5 % yr-1.  Speciated atmospheric mercury results, with shorter periods of record, will be compared to other speciated mercury monitoring data from Alberta.


1Environment and Climate Change Canada,
2Environment and Climate Change Canada,
3Environment and Climate Change Canada,
4Environment and Climate Change Canada,
5Environment and Climate Change Canada,
6Environment and Climate Change Canada,