Freshwater DOM quantity and quality from a two-component model of UV absorbance

Water Research
By: , and 



We present a model that considers UV-absorbing dissolved organic matter (DOM) to consist of two components (A and B), each with a distinct and constant spectrum. Component A absorbs UV light strongly, and is therefore presumed to possess aromatic chromophores and hydrophobic character, whereas B absorbs weakly and can be assumed hydrophilic. We parameterised the model with dissolved organic carbon concentrations [DOC] and corresponding UV spectra for c. 1700 filtered surface water samples from North America and the United Kingdom, by optimising extinction coefficients for A and B, together with a small constant concentration of non-absorbing DOM (0.80 mg DOC L-1). Good unbiased predictions of [DOC] from absorbance data at 270 and 350 nm were obtained (r2 = 0.98), the sum of squared residuals in [DOC] being reduced by 66% compared to a regression model fitted to absorbance at 270 nm alone. The parameterised model can use measured optical absorbance values at any pair of suitable wavelengths to calculate both [DOC] and the relative amounts of A and B in a water sample, i.e. measures of quantity and quality. Blind prediction of [DOC] was satisfactory for 9 of 11 independent data sets (181 of 213 individual samples).

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Freshwater DOM quantity and quality from a two-component model of UV absorbance
Series title Water Research
DOI 10.1016/j.watres.2012.05.021
Volume 46
Issue 14
Year Published 2012
Language English
Publisher Elsevier
Publisher location Amsterdam, Netherlands
Contributing office(s) Utah Water Science Center
Description 11 p.
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title Water Research
First page 4532
Last page 4542
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