Inverse modelling for mercury over Europe
The fate and transport of mercury over Europe is studied using a regional Eulerian transport model. Because gaseous elemental mercury is a long-lived species in the atmosphere, boundary conditions must be properly taken into account. Ground measurements of gaseous mercury are very sensitive to the uncertainties attached to those forcing conditions. Inverse modelling can help to constrain the forcing fields and help to improve the predicted mercury concentrations. More generally, it allows to reduce the weaknesses of a regional model against a global or hemispherical model for such diffuse trace constituent. Adjoint techniques are employed to relate rigorously and explicitly the measurements to the forcing fields. This way, the inverse problem is clearly defined. Using EMEP measurements of gaseous mercury and performing the inversions, it is shown that boundary conditions can be improved significantly as well as the forecast concentrations. Using inverse modelling to improve the emission inventory is however much more difficult. Indeed, there are currently not enough mercury monitoring stations, and they are located far away from the center of Europe.