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Open-File Report 2006–1086

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences

EMMMA: A Web-based System for Environmental Mercury Mapping, Modeling, and Analysis

By Paul P. Hearn, Jr., Stephen P. Wente, David I. Donato, and John J. Aguinaldo

Thumbnail of and link to report PDF (1 MB)Abstract

Mercury in our environment – in our air, water, soil, and especially our food – poses significant hazards to human health, particularly for developing fetuses and young children. Because of the importance of this issue and the length of time it has been studied, large and complex data sets of mercury concentrations in various media and associated ancillary data have been generated by many Federal, State, Tribal, and local agencies. To facilitate efficient and effective use of these data in managing and mitigating human and wildlife exposure to mercury, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences have developed a website for visualizing and studying the distribution of mercury in our environment. The Environmental Mercury Mapping, Modeling, and Analysis (EMMMA) website ( provides health and environmental researchers, managers, and other decision-makers the ability to:

  • Interactively view and access a nationwide collection of environmental mercury data (fish tissue, atmospheric emissions and deposition, stream sediments, soils, and coal) and mercury-related data (mine locations);
  • Interactively view and access predictions of the National Descriptive Model of Mercury in Fish (NDMMF) at 4,976 sites and 6,829 sampling events (events are unique combinations of site and sampling date) across the United States; and
  • Use interactive mapping and graphing capabilities to visualize spatial and temporal trends and study relationships between mercury and other variables.

First posted 2006

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Suggested citation:

Hearn, P.P., S.P., Donato, D.I., and Aguinaldo, J.J., 2006, EMMMA: A Web-based system for environmental mercury mapping, modeling, and analysis: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2006–1086, 17 p., available only online at

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