Cinnirella, S, Pirrone, N, Allegrini, A, Guglietta, D (2008). Modeling mercury emissions from forest fires in the Mediterranean region. ENVIRONMENTAL FLUID MECHANICS, 8(2), 129-145.
Mercury emissions from forest fires in countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea have been estimated on the basis of satellite observations for the year 2006. The assessment has been done by means of the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) products (MOD12Q1, MOD14A2, MOD15A2, MOD44B). Estimates show that wild fires have burnt 310,268 ha in the Region, affecting by 45% the Mixed Forest and by 37% the Evergreen Needleleaf Forest and the Evergreen Broadleaf Forest. The amount of biomass burned was about 66,000 Mg for the Evergreen Needleleaf Forest, 72,000 Mg for the Evergreen Broadleaf Forest and 196,000 Mg for the Mixed Forest. The total amount of mercury released to the atmosphere in the Mediterranean countries accounted for 4.3 Mg year(-1) with Italy, France, Austria, Bulgaria, Algeria, Spain and Croatia being the most contributing countries with annual emission ranging from 330 to 970 kg year(-1). The maximum release of Gaseous Elemental Mercury (GEM) and particulate mercury (Hg(p)) in the region occurred in July with 1,218 kg. The uncertainty of our estimates is comparable with that associated to current assessments of mercury emissions from major industrial sources.