Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) is located at the U.S. Department of Energy's Oak Ridge Reservation in Roane County, Tennessee. The ORNL reservation is situated within the borders of five parallel ridges and valleys to the north of the Clinch River that are part of the Ridge-and-Valley Appalachians physiographic province (Environmental Sciences Division n.d.). The NEON tower site and Walker Branch aquatic site at ORNL are located within the Walker Branch Watershed, a 100 ha area that has served as the site for long-term environmental studies by the Environmental Sciences Division at ORNL, NOAA, and many visiting university researchers. (NEON)
Since its inception in 2010, the Mercury Science Focus Area (SFA) led by Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL)—formally known as the Biogeochemical and Molecular Mechanisms Controlling Contaminant Transformation in the Environment project—has made substantial progress in fulfilling its overarching research aim: elucidating the mechanisms by which inorganic mercury is transformed into methylmercury at the sediment-water interface and the processes that determine net methylmercury production in contaminated sites.
The project is supported by DOE’s Office of Biological and Environmental Research (BER), within DOE’s Office of Science, as part of BER’s Subsurface Biogeochemical Research (SBR) program.