The spectra and intensity of solar radiation (solar spectral irradiance [SSI]) was quantified in selected aquatic habitats in the vicinity of an oil field on the California coast. Solar spectral irradiance measurements consisted of spectral scans (280-700 rim) and radiometric measurements of ultraviolet (UV): UVB (280-320 nm) and UVA (320-400 nm). Solar spectral irradiance measurements were taken at the surface and at various depths in two marsh ponds, a shallow wetland, an estuary lagoon, and the intertidal area of a high-energy sandy beach. Daily fluctuation in SSI showed a general parabolic relationship with time; maximum structure-activity relationship (SAR) was observed at approximate solar noon. Solar spectral irradiance measurements taken at 10-cm depth at approximate solar noon in multiple aquatic habitats exhibited only a twofold variation in visible light and UVA and a 4.5-fold variation in UVB. Visible light ranged from 11,000 to 19,000 ??W/cm2, UVA ranged from 460 to 1,100 ??W/cm2, and UVB ranged from 8.4 to 38 ??W/cm2. In each habitat, the attenuation of light intensity with increasing water depth was differentially affected over specific wavelengths of SSI. The study results allowed the development of environmentally realistic light regimes necessary for photoenhanced toxicity studies.
Additional publication details
Quantifying solar spectral irradiance in aquatic habitats for the assessment of photoenhanced toxicity