Mercury in the Environment

USGS provides information on mercury sources; mercury cycling in the atmosphere, land surface, lakes, streams and oceans; and bioaccumulation and toxicity of mercury. This information helps land and resource managers understand and reduce mercury hazards to people and wildlife.

USGS scientists -- get your mercury-related content on ->


USGS Fact Sheets on Mercury in the Environment

Worldwide supply & demand and flow of mercury

Mercury in U.S. Coal

Featured Publications

Mercury bioaccumulation in estuarine wetland fishes: Evaluating habitats and risk to coastal wildlife (July 2014)

Temporal Variation in Fish Mercury Concentrations within Lakes from the Western Aleutian Archipelago, Alaska (16 July 2014)

Mercury in Fishes from Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska (11 July 2014)

Historic and Contemporary Mercury Exposure and Potential Risk to Yellow-Billed Loons (Gavia adamsii) Breeding in Alaska and Canada (4 July 2014)

Scaling Up Watershed Model Parameters—Flow and Load Simulations of the Edisto River Basin, South Carolina, 2007–09 (2 July 2014)

Mercury concentrations and distribution in soil, water, mine waste leachates, and air in and around mercury mines in the Big Bend region, Texas, USA (29 June 2014)

Geochemical and Mineralogical Maps for Soils of the Conterminous United States This national-scale soil geochemistry project includes mercury and many other chemical elements and minerals. (17 June 2014) | Conterminous United States – Soil Survey web site | Science Feature: Getting the dirt on soil

Effects of urbanization on mercury deposition and accumulation in New England (6 June 2014)

Grizzly Bear Hair Reveals Toxic Exposure to Mercury through Salmon Consumption (5 June 2014)

Lacustrine Responses to Decreasing Wet Mercury Deposition Rates—Results from a Case Study in Northern Minnesota (3 June 2014) | USGS Press Release | USGS Environmental Health Headline

Mercury concentrations in water, and mercury and selenium concentrations in fish from Brownlee Reservoir and selected sites in Boise and Snake Rivers, Idaho and Oregon (16 May 2014) | Press Release

Mercury concentrations in breast feathers of three upper trophic level marine predators from the western Aleutian Islands, Alaska (15 May 2014)

Hydrological Controls on Methylmercury Distribution and Flux in a Tidal Marsh (14 May 2014)

Mercury speciation in the Mt. Amiata mining district (Italy): Interplay between urban activities and mercury contamination (11 May 2014)

Incorporation of inorganic mercury (Hg2+) in pelagic food webs of ultraoligotrophic and oligotrophic lakes: The role of different plankton size fractions and species assemblages (8 May 2014)

Mercury finds a way, even into pristine National Parks--Mercury in fishes from 21 National Parks in the Western United States (16 April 2014) USGS Report | USGS Science Feature--Top Story | Press Release

The distribution and extent of heavy metal accumulation in song sparrows along Arizona’s upper Santa Cruz River (12 April 2014)

Mercury elimination rates for adult northern pike Esox lucius: Evidence for a Sex Effect (26 March 2014)

Mercury in the soil of two contrasting watersheds in the eastern United States (14 February 2014)

Mercury and methylmercury stream concentrations in a Coastal Plain watershed--A multi-scale simulation analysis (13 February 2014)

Mercury exposure associated with altered plasma thyroid hormones in the declining Western pond turtle (Emys marmorata) from California mountain streams (11 February 2014)

Mercury: 2014 USGS Commodities Report (February 2014)

Mercury cycling in agricultural and managed wetlands of California:

Mercury and methylmercury dynamics in the hyporheic zone of an Oregon stream (29 November 2013)

A Great Lakes atmospheric mercury monitoring network--evaluation and design (in press 20 November 2013)

Global Change and Mercury (27 September 2013) Press release | Science paper | More info

Changing patterns in the use, recycling, and material substitution of mercury in the United States (8 August 2013)

Atmospheric mercury and fine particulate matter in coastal New England--Implications for mercury and trace element sources in the northeastern United States (31 July 2013)

Climate change and watershed mercury export--a multiple projection and model analysis (17 July 2013)

Mercury in wetlands at the Glacial Ridge National Wildlife Refuge, northwestern Minnesota, 2007-9 (4 June 2013)

Kinetics of homogeneous and surface-catalyzed mercury(II) reduction by iron(II) (3 June 2013)

Landscape factors and hydrology influence mercury concentrations in wading birds breeding in the Florida Everglades, USA (23 May 2013)

Optimizing Stream Water Mercury Sampling for Calculation of Fish Bioaccumulation Factors (13 May 2013)

Marsh Wrens As Bioindicators of Mercury in Wetlands of Great Salt Lake: Do Blood and Feathers Reflect Site-Specific Exposure Risk to Bird Reproduction? (6 May 2013)

Arsenic and Mercury in the Soils of an Industrial City in the Donets Basin, Ukraine (3 May 2013)

Differential mercury transfer in the aquatic food web of a double basined lake associated with selenium and habitat (27 March 2013)

Variable contributions of mercury from groundwater to a first-order urban Coastal Plain stream in New Jersey, USA (21 March 2013)

Occurrence and Mobility of Mercury in Groundwater (27 February 2013)

Mineral commodity summaries 2013 (24 January 2013)

Methylmercury is the Predominant Form of Mercury in Bird Eggs: A Synthesis (21 January 2013)

Effects of Mercury Deposition and Coniferous Forests on the Mercury Contamination of Fish in the South Central United States (3 January 2013)

Improved estimates of filtered total mercury loadings and total mercury concentrations of solids from potential sources to Sinclair Inlet, Kitsap County, Washington (2013)

Characterization of mercury contamination in the Androscoggin River, Coos County, New Hampshire (2013)

Mercury and water-quality data from Rink Creek, Salmon River, and Good River, Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, Alaska (2013)

All mercury publications with USGS authors, by year: 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 1990-2008

USGS Science Activities

National Mercury Studies

Mercury Studies in Your State

Research on Mercury Cycling in Aquatic Ecosystems

Mercury Related to Mining and Natural Geologic Sources

Mercury Bioaccumulation and Toxicity

Mercury Atmospheric Deposition

Measuring Mercury in the Environment

USGS scientists who study mercury

Meetings and Conferences *

11th International Conference on Mercury as a Global Pollutant 14-19 June 2015, Jeju, Korea.

< Archive of meetings and conferences >

Twitter feed *
Other agency links *

USEPA mercury information (US Environmental Protection Agency)

Mercury Deposition Network (National Atmospheric Deposition Program)

NOAA's Atmospheric Mercury program (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)

Air Toxics Monitoring Programs

Mercury ToxFAQs™: Chemical Agent Briefing Sheets (ATSDR)

NESCAUM Mercury Emission Control Studies

South Florida Mercury Science Program

United Nations Environment Programme--Reducing Risk from Mercury

* DOI and USGS link policies apply.


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Page Last Modified: Thursday, July 24, 2014